Suzanne Gachukia

Suzanne Gachukia is a composer, musician, performer, producer and entrepreneur. She is the owner and Director of Sub-Saharan Limited (formerly Samawati), a company that produces music, films and television shows. The company, which doubles up as a media training institute, has over 300 works in audio and film under its belt in addition to being involved in various other human development activities.

Gachukia has spearheaded a number of charitable projects including the Fanikisha Campaign and the One Love Campaign with the aim of fostering unity among Kenyans using music as a tool for activism. Her career in entertainment began in 1985 when she formed an all-female band called Musikly Speaking. The group, which included Joy Mboya and Susan Matiba-Mwamto, released hits like Jamriambo, Nyumba and Tweyanze – songs that are a fusion of traditional beats and urban pop music.

Midnight after Dark, Xawadi, Tamu Tamu and Nipe Nikupe are among the albums Gachukia has produced.

That same year, she was awarded a three-month Training for Development scholarship by USAID  to study the American music industry. In the US she met, among others, Tracy Chapman and Eddie Murphy. When she returned home, Suzanne taught music to kindergarten and primary school children.

In 1993 she formed Zanaziki, a group which performed in Holland in 2002 and launched its début album in 2008 at the Carnivore in Nairobi.

Gachukia has served on various Boards and Trusts such as the Kisima Trust and the Dhow Countries Music Academy in Zanzibar, among others. She has helped to develop the careers of a number of musicians including Mercy Myra, Kalamashaka and Eric Wainaina.

After a long hiatus, she made a comeback in 2017 with Kondo Gakwa featured in the album ‘Zanaziki All-Stars’. The album will also feature artists like Nyota Ndogo, Kayamba Africa, Wyre, Hellen Mtawali, Liz Njoroge and Ulopa.

Share this post

Comment on post

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *