Ero Mtu travelled on foot from Lodwar to Kapenguria in search of greener pastures
For most people, walking from one place to the other may look hectic and stressful despite the distance to be covered but for one Jimmie Lorehe Loliyo popularly known as Ero Mtu he understands what it feels like covering a long distance of over 400 kilometers by foot.
Born and raised up in the dry part of Turkana County, Ero Mtu walked by foot from Lodwar to Kapenguria covering a distance of 450 kilometers. He was fleeing from his homeland to in search of greener pastures after his relatives and closer friends were killed by the Pokot in a cattle rustling exercise.
At his arrival in Kapenguria which he referred to as “Kenya” he was employed as a herd’s boy before moving to Matunda in Likuyani Constituency where a farmer employed him as a herd’s boy on a Kshs. 150 monthly pay roll before his talent was discovered by the Maliza Umaskini Family.
Despite the ups and downs, Ero Mtu has successfully risen to stardom with more than four songs under his belt, two of them with video clips. His fans have also accepted his style of music making his music to receive massive airplay.
“My stage name is Ero Mtu meaning a dry place because of where I come from. I am glad that after sinking into music my mentors and fans have supported me. I have more than four songs such as Naleyo, Njaa, Tamaduni Naipenda, Alararijie which he features the Maliza Umaskini (MU Family).” He says adding on that others are yet to be released.
He refers to his kind of music as “Nalenyo” which refers to the Turkana culture and traditions. Together with Yokori, another Turkana musician they have been able to put their community on the world map through their music.
For this young man in his early 20s he only attended primary school up to class two at Lokichar Primary school before dropping out due to lack of fees.
His rise to stardom started in 2009, during a concert organized by a Non- Governmental organization, called Maliza Umaskini organized a talent concert where unemployed youth were given an opportunity to showcase their talents. Ero Mtu seized this lucrative opportunity where he gave a thrilling performance in his traditional regalia to the surprise of many.
“I was signed by the Maliza Umaskini Family as a recording artist after I gave a thrilling performance during the event. I was given music mentors who helped me realize my full potential in music.” Ero says.
Ero Mtu’s role model is the late, Abel Loshilaa Motika known for his stage name as Mr. Ebbo who was a Maasai hip hop artiste from Tanzania. For many who know Mr. Ebbo, he was a pioneering Bongo Flava artiste who rose to fame with his hit single, “Mimi Mmaasai” in the early 2000s. Just like Ero Mtu, Mr. Ebbo performed in his traditional Maasai costumes.
His first song, “Naleyo” referrers to a certain special Turkana dance. “ My first song, Naleyo refers to a Turkana dance while the second a collaboration with various artistes under the Maliza Umaskini umbrella, “Alararijie” talks about cattle rustling and the war between the Turkanas and Pokots. It also addresses the post-election violence experienced after the disputed 2007 presidential results.
During his free time, he loves making traditional bangles, rings, necklaces among many others from beads.
Here is a man who has featured on Citizen TV’s popular drama show Papa Shirandula where he acts as a Turkana medicinal.
His key advice to aspiring artistes, “if you do believe that indeed you got the talent and passion for music, never gives up. Keep on trying because one day lady luck may just smile your way.” He concludes.
Ero Mtu is indeed causing ripples in the entertainment sector and you need to watch him out as he does his thing.