Daniel Owino Misiani

Daniel Owino Misiani
Born (1940-02-22)22 February 1940[1]
Nyamagongo, Mara Region, Tanzania[1]
Died 17 May 2006(2006-05-17) (aged 66)[1]
Occupation Musician

Daniel Owino Misiani (22 February 1940 17 May 2006) was a Tanzanian musician from Mara Region. He was known as the "King of History" in Kenya; overseas and in Tanzania, he was known as "the grandfather of benga", of which he pioneered.

Misiani was born in Nyamagongo, a quiet village just north of Shirati in Mara Region, Tanzania, close to the eastern shore of Lake Victoria and the border with Kenya. His parents were singers, but opposed his choice of a musical career on religious grounds. Nevertheless, he moved to Kenya in the 1960s to be a musician. He first recorded with the Victoria Boys in 1965. The band changed its name many times before becoming popular as Shirati Jazz band. He sang mostly in Dholuo and Swahili languages. He is known as a pioneering contributor to the Benga music genre. During his long career he released numerous recordings, with some international releases. He was imprisoned on several occasions for lyrics that were perceived as crossing the line into political criticism.

He died in a road traffic accident at an accident blackspot in Kisumu, on the highway to Kakamega, in a crash between a minibus and a public transport van in which many others were injured. At time of his death, aged 66, he was still an active performer. Misiani, who was polygamous, had two wives (Felista and Beatrice) with 14 children.

One of his sons, Robert Misiani, pursued a career as a hip hop musician under the stage name Gun B. Robert was best known for "Nampenda" hit, a collaboration with Pilipili. Robert died on October 20, 2007 due to illness.[2]

After the death of Daniel Owino Misiani, the leadership of his band Shirati Jazz was taken over by his wife and long-time band member Queen Babito (Beatrice Atieno Owino).[3]


Contributing artist

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Jon Lusk (24 July 2006). "D.O. Misiani 'Grandfather' of benga music". The Independent.
  2. Daily Nation, October 28, 2007: Buzz Magazine
  3. Worlds of the Indian Ocean connecting the past to the future February 19–23, 2009· Nairobi, Kenya: Film: Retracing the Benga Rhythm & Live Concert: D.K.Mwai and Queen Babito
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