Oreva is a famous musician in East Africa. He was nicknamed Oreva because he used the word ‘whatever’ a lot and he used to pronounce it like, ‘wharreva.’ Before being nicknamed Oreva he used to go by the stage name ‘omoisi omobe’ which in kisii language means ‘bad boy.’
Before being famous, Oreva had chased clout for almost ten years. He had pulled unsuccessful publicity stunts on so many occasions. At one time, he shared a sextape of himself and his cousin on several whatsapp groups expecting it to go viral and instantly make him famous but no one bothered sharing it anywhere. Instead, he was given a serious lecture by those close to him.
His parents had him go through several counseling sessions. Despite the counselling, Oreva posted the video on facebook but facebook blocked it sending him a message that said, “dear user, facebook won’t allow you to be successful without putting in hard work. We’re sorry we can’t publish your post. Work hard to achieve your goals.”
After that, Oreva gave up on trying to be famous by leaking his own sextape. He then decided to record a song dissing a veteran rapper called Khaligraph Jones. The song ended up sounding comical because of his heavy kisii accent.
His friends advised him to stop being so serious about life. They urged him to make songs for comedy purposes and all he could say was, “wharreva.” His own mother had advised him to stop calling himself a bad boy because he was a ‘softie’ but all he said was, “wharreva.”
Oreva continued rapping without a breakthrough for a very long time. In all the songs Oreva had been writing, he was bragging about how many girls he had slept with. The truth is that Oreva was a virgin at the time. All he ever did then was to ‘nyonga tumbili’ while looking at a picture of Beyonce. In case you do not know, ‘nyonga tumbili’ in Kenyan sheng language means masturbating.
The point is Oreva has never ever done any of the things he was rapping about then. He isn’t a gangster like he wanted hip-hop fans to believe. Gengetone style of music was meant for a group like Mbogi Genje not a cool lavish kid from Lavington like Oreva, whose lyrics the slums couldn’t relate with.
Having aimed and missed for ten years, Oreva had so much hunger to make a hit in the music Industry. He decided that it was time to look for a producer, with a big name and great game, to secure him a place in the hall of fame. You see, he had been producing his own songs using FL studio and the sound quality was wack but every time his friends said something about it he would tell them, “wharreva.”
Moreover, Oreva never used to see the need to have a marketing team to market his songs. His mother was back in those days, glad that Oreva had never tried to market those songs which he had been producing for himself because she was scared how people would have reacted to the nonsense.
Anyway, Oreva searched on Google and found a studio in Buruburu that seemed to be good for him. That studio was and still is Wachafu records. The one owned by Copper Aluminum, the porn music star. Oreva booked a session with them. Instantly, they gave him an appointment.
The day of the appointment came. Oreva took an uber cab to the studio’s location in Buruburu. He went into a building called Annex Plaza, which was situated opposite Buruburu police station in between a supermarket and a shopping mall. He went through a thorough security check by the guards at the entrance of Annex Plaza. On being cleared to go through by the security guards, he went into the elevator and pressed the button up to the fourth floor. On getting to the fourth floor he found a bouncer guarding the door which was the entrance to every room on that floor. That bouncer wasn’t working for Annex Plaza, but for Wachafu records. It pleased Omoisi Omobe that if these guys could afford to rent the whole floor of a building, then they were filthy rich.
“Do you have an appointment?” The bouncer whose voice was full of bass asked.
“Yes.” Omoisi Omobe answered.
“What’s your name?” The bouncer went on with the questioning.
“I am Oreva.” Oreva answered shocked that he had just said that. This was the first time he was calling himself by the name Oreva. Somewhat subconsciously, he had been planning to drop the omoisi omobe name and this was it.
“Hahaha, what a funny name,” the bouncer said in the midst of laughter, paused, took his phone out and dialed a number, waited for a while then conversed with someone over the phone, “boss, there is a dude here by the name Oreva saying he has an appointment with you.” The bouncer listened to instructions over the phone and said, “Yes sir.”
He opened the door allowing Oreva in. From the moment he went through that door, Oreva knew for sure that he had stepped into a rasta man’s territory. Everyone there had dreadlocks. From the receptionist to the Rastafarians who were seated at the reception playing guitar and practicing spoken word poetry.
Before he could say a word to the lady who was at the reception, a door opened and from it came out a guy with the longest dreadlocks Oreva had ever seen. “Welcome to Wachafu records Oreva, I am CopperAluminium Foil, the owner of this recording company. You can just call me Copper Aluminum.”
Just then several other guys with dreadlocks came out from various rooms on that floor. They all had dreadlocks. On making keen observation, Oreva realized that some were either smoking bhang or rolling it.
“Listen up guys, we have a new recruit here. His name is Oreva. Our seer showed us that he wishes to become famous.” Wachafu Records owner announced.
“I’ve been recruited already?” Oreva asked, amazed.
“Hahahaa, welcome junior dread. No one gets in here and gets out of here without becoming a rastafarian.” The rasta men and their women were full of happiness.
Before he could understand what was going on, Oreva was led into a small room with no window and no ventilation. Everyone got in and the door got locked. Suddenly blunts started being lit. One big roll of bhang was passed on to him.
“I don’t smoke weed please, I came to record my music.” Oreva pleaded.
The rasta men gave him one look with their blood shot eyes and Oreva puffed the bhang feeling it’s smoke settling in his lungs for a while, then out through his nostrils. He took several more puffs then, as if he knew, the tradition here, passed the blunt over to the rastaman who was next in the circle.
The rasta men clapped as rasta women ululated.
“No one comes into Wachafu records offices and doesn’t become a rasta man. Welcome to the circle Ras Oreva.” Said Copper.
“Welcome Ras Oreva.” Everybody else said in unison.
Just when Oreva thought he was done with the smoking, more blunts started doing rounds in the circle. The Rastafarians clicked their thumps every time he hesitated to take a roll of marijuana telling him, “junior, changamka( cheer up junior).”
The poor guy smoked marijuana until his lungs inflated because they had finally run out of oxygen. He felt like he was going round and round as if riding on a rollercoaster. His vision became blurry. There was no doubt he was going down. There was a terrible roar of laughter as he was dropping on the floor. Before he could land on the floor, a pair of huge strong arms caught him and carried him out of the room like a baby.
On being carried out of the room with neither a window nor any form of ventilation, Oreva felt the sweetness of oxygen coming back into his lungs but especially his brain. He was still in the strong arms that were carrying him. He suddenly developed a craving for a hot, steamy and sumptuous meal. Just then he was dropped on a seat. He looked up drowsily. He was in a huge dining room with a huge dining table surrounded by beautiful seats. The seats were occupied by the Rastafarians. On the dining table were all kinds of delicacies. Without a care, Oreva pounced on meat like a hungry dog. Every other person in the room was doing the same. They were tearing and chewing beef bones like angry lions.
After the meal, Wachafu CEO himself, Mr copper announced that everyone was free to go to sleep. He ordered a room to be arranged for Oreva and seven virgins to spend the night with him.
Oreva spent the night in a room where below him he could view Nairobi streets. The bed was king-size. The seven girls who claimed to be virgins broke his virginity that night.
Oreva came back to his senses early the next day. He kicked the seven former virgins out before taking a shower hurriedly then madly walked out of the room demanding at the top of his voice that Mr. CopperAluminium Foil explain what had happened the previous night because he was going to report the matter to the police.
Right then, he was lifted up in the air by two strong arms and thrown into the CEO’s office.
“Good morning Ras Oreva, did the seven girls treat you right? Come on, have a seat.” Said Copper while pointing to a seat close to his.
“You’ve been signed into my label. You’ll be getting forty percent of the income generated by your music. Everything from recording audios and videos to promoting,marketing, bookings and distribution of your music will be done by the label. You’re now part of the Wachafu family. All you have to do now is to write and sing good music. Another thing you have to do is sign these papers, there is no need for lawyers to be present. You know there’s no need of complicating the issue when we can trust each other ” Mr Copper added as he handed the papers over to Oreva.
“Yeah, that’s great.” A calmed down Oreva said as he took the papers. He read the papers for about ten minutes then signed them.
“Keep one copy of each document then give me the others.” Mr Copper instructed.
Oreva did exactly as had been told.
“Now the deal is done.” Mr Copper Aluminium Foil said as he stretched out his hand for a handshake. Oreva shook his new boss’s hand while grinning widely.
“Now kindly, go to the audio recording studio. Our number one producer, Mr Bio Baiba is waiting for you there. It’s time for you to make your first hit. We’ll talk more gradually.” Mr Copper Aluminium Foil concluded the conversation.
“Sure thing Sir, thanks for everything.” Oreva said and walked out of the CEO’s office and got into the studio.
“Welcome yo, I’m Bio Baiba. Before you go into that booth, remember that you’re not a rapper, you’re a singer. That’s what our diviners said. So please cut the rap bulkshit. Go in there and sing the tune that will come into your head. Get rid of every song you have been writing. Understood?” Bio Baiba asked.
“okay, I’ll try and sing.” A submissive Oreva conceded.
“There’s no trying, it’s either you’re doing it or not. Now get into the booth and show me what you have got.” Bio Baiba directed Oreva.
Oreva got into the booth and sang a song he had never written nor practiced. He was surprised that he could sing. He was more surprised that that song came out of him. After doing his all, Bio Baiba told him that the audio would be out in a week but they were to record the video of the song that same day using the demo.
“Go and prepare yourself, we’re recording the video today. You will be given fresh clothes and everything you need. The girls will take care of you.” Bio Baiba said dismissively.
When Oreva got out of the studio, he found himself in the arms of the seven girls. They took him into the same room they had spent the previous night in. They took his clothes off him then had him in turns without asking for his permission. The girls then led him into the shower and they washed their bodies as they washed him. After getting out of the shower, the girls dressed Oreva in fancy clothes and shoes. They then led him out of that room into a hall full of Rastafarians who had been waiting. Video recording began at the same time as marijuana smoking. The video shooting went hand in hand with chain smoking. The guys were puffing and passing weed until a huge cloud of smoke formed indoors. They had created their cloud nine. Oreva was asked to sing the song he had just recorded while smoking weed and flirting with the seven girls. The rest of Rastafarians were dancing to Oreva’s demo song which was playing loudly through the speakers in the hall. The women kept giggling and behaving as if they were making sexual appeals. The video shooting process went on till lunch time. Oreva was led into the dining hall for the second time. Another feast began. After eating was over, Mr Copper came over to Oreva and told him to go home and tell the good news to his parents then come back immediately for he would be living with the rest of the Wachafu family. The girls asked Oreva not to take too long because they would be waiting for him in his room.
When Oreva stepped out of the Annex building, he felt different. He knew he wasn’t going to be the same person ever again. He no longer felt any weight on his shoulders. He felt like he didn’t care about anything in the world. When he got home, his friends said, “You look different. What happened to you? Why didn’t you come home last night?” Oreva didn’t bother answering them. He went into his mother’s house.
“Good afternoon mother.”
“Where have you been son, you’ve made me so worried. Couldn’t you call to say you weren’t going to come home last night?”
“Let me explain mum.”
He narrated everything that had happened excluding the bhang smoking part and the seven girls ordeal.
“Okay son, I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ be with you there son. I hope those people are God fearing. I don’t understand why their name is dirty but I pray that you are covered with the blood of Jesus.”
“Thank you mum.”
“One more thing son, as you go there, I want to hand you over myself. We’re going together.”
“No problem mum.”
So they went together and instead of the mother going up to the fourth floor of Annex Plaza to see for herself what goes on there, she was received together with her son outside Annex Plaza. Her son had made duplicates of the documents he had signed and given her copies. Refusing to judge the rastaman standing in front of her, Oreva’s mother handed her son over and bade him goodbye.
A week later, the song was released and it was an instant hit. It sounded like reggae-Afro fusion. That’s how Oreva rose to fame but there is a price he pays to stay famous.
Story by Jesse Came Athi.