Simba Wanyika

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Formed in 1971 by brothers Wilson Peter and George Peter Kinyonga, both born in Kigoma, Tanzania. They joined Jamhuri Jazz Band in 1966, which was one of Tanzania's most popular bands. They moved to Arusha…
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Formed in 1971 by brothers Wilson Peter and George Peter Kinyonga, both born in Kigoma, Tanzania. They joined Jamhuri Jazz Band in 1966, which was one of Tanzania's most popular bands. They moved to Arusha in 1970, forming Arusha Jazz with their other brother, William Peter, and received sponsorship for their equipment. The group then moved to Kenya, receiving a recording contract in 1972. They recruited more Tanzanian musicians and changed their name to Simba Wanyika ("Lions of the Wilderness"). They had a harder sound than most rumba bands and were almost unchallenged in that area in Kenya due to the closing of the Tanzanian border in 1975. Rhythm guitarist Omar Shabini quit the band in the late '70s, taking many musicians with him and forming Les Wanyika. Simba Wanyika added more musicians, but brother George quit in 1980 and took more musicians with him to form Orchestra Jobiso. Eventually, he reconsidered and rejoined Simba, still working with Jobiso on side projects. Simba Wanyika added "Original" to their name to prevent confusion with Les Wanyika and its splinter group, Super Wanyika. Simba regained its popularity in the mid-'80s, releasing many hits and touring Europe in 1989.