Music scene in Kalobeyei
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“When I sing, I feel free.” Ismail Iyonze, music producer in Kalobeyei, Kenya, created the very first music video with artists in the camp who regularly perform at the KLABU Clubhouse.

For Ismail, music is a universal language that unites people across the globe - and it’s this message that he’s sharing in his new music video. Bringing together artists from different tribes, countries and backgrounds, Ismail unites people across the Kalobeyei and neighbouring Kakuma camps through the power of music.
With almost 200,000 residents, Kalobeyei and Kakuma are home to people who fled South Sudan, Ethiopia, Congo and Burundi. Despite the mix of languages, religions and customs, Ismail uses music to create a sense of connection and belonging. 
“I couldn’t believe we bought so many people together for this music video", says Ismail, "I wanted everyone to share the message; we’re all refugees. We’re here to be together, help each other and proceed through life together.”

"Music is my job and my talent. I view music as my life. When I sing I feel free, I feel happy. Every Friday, we celebrate together at KLABU, we sing, we battle, we make competition. You can see all different tribes come together through music and collaboration."

Ismail Iyonze

Music producer in Kalobeyei, Kenya


Through KLABU, Ismail is making a name for himself throughout Kalobeyei with his weekly Kalo-Battles. Bringing together hundreds of people every Friday at the KLABU clubhouse, the rap battles are a weekly opportunity for up-and-coming rappers to come together, and showcase their creativity and talent. Watch this space for the next big thing. 

-- Story by KLABU community member Safiya Bashir
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