Recently, I wrote of “CD Fever” that has captured the imagination of many Maasai here in the North of Maasai country. This “fever” has now infected our own church community here at Olbalbal.
Matayo OleTajeuo is our leader of song. He regularly composes music based on gospel stories. “The story of the Good Samaritan” and “The Prodigal Son” come alive when Matayo fashions lyrics and Maasai music for these stories. Matayo also composes narrative songs based on the events of the life of Jesus such as “The Raising of Lazarus from the dead”. His music is amazing and has become known far beyond our Christian Community of Olbalbal.
Last week Matayo traveled to the town of Karatu, a town about half way between Olbalbal and the big city of Arusha. He went with seven Maasai from our community, four young men of warrior age and two young women. They went to cut two CD disks, one of Matayo and our singing group and the other of Matayo himself. The two disks will contain the twenty songs chosen from the best that Matayo has so far composed.
A recording studio has recently opened at Karatu. Family, friends and our church community have collected the $300 dollars that the studio charges to produce two CDs. One will bear the name of our Olbalbal Christian Community and the other of Matayo OleTajeuo. Once the disks are produced and Matayo has some copies in hand, he will organize a celebration to mark the publishing of the CDs and hopefully begin to sell copies of the CD disk of his music. The celebration with the many gifts that he hopes to receive will be very profitable in itself, probably returning all the expenses that they have incurred producing the CD. He will share whatever profit there will be with our church.
Many Maasai are cutting CDs these days and most don’t expect to sell more than a very few disks. They rather hope to reap the return of their expenses and further profit from the gifts they will receive at the celebration announcing the publishing of their disk. A few, with outstanding voices, become “famous” among the Maasai and sell a lot of CDs. We are thinking that Matayo will be among these.