“ONE of the beautiful aspects of vinyl is its ability to preserve cultural heritage. In Africa, vinyl has become more than just a medium for music; it has transformed into a cultural artefact,” proclaims James ‘Jimmy’ Rugami, from amongst the hundreds of vinyl records on display in his market stall in Nairobi.
“People are rediscovering old recordings of traditional music, reconnecting with their heritage, and finding a sense of pride in their identity.”
Rugami should know; he has been selling vinyls to a mostly African audience for over 30 years.
Located in the bustling Kenyatta Market in Nairobi, Rugami occupies a modest stall sandwiched between butchers, second-hand clothes vendors, and hairdressers clamouring for attention.
Since he opened it in 1989, Rugami’s stall number B-15 has attracted both local buyers and tourists with its array of colourful vinyl record covers and analogue electronics.
What hits differently about the music emanating from the store are the crackling notes and soulful melodies of “golden oldie” records that weave an enchanting spell over the young and old.
*The views of the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Africa Speaks 4 Africa or its editorial team.