A review of @SautiSol’s Live and Die in Afrika

A review of @SautiSol’s Live and Die in Afrika

Sauti Sol is arguably Kenya’s biggest music act at the moment. The quartet of Bien-Aimé, Chimano, Polycarp and Savara has been growing in leaps and bounds since their debut album Mwanzo in 2009. Their third studio album Live and Die in Africa was released last week with the group availing it for free on their website within the first 48 hours.

Sura Yako (Swahili for your face)

The first track is a celebration of the African woman’s beauty. The song had been released earlier and is a big hit on the airwaves and even in the club scene with the introduction of the Lipala dance in the song’s initial video. The biggest highlight with regards to Sura Yako was the group getting America’s president, Barack Obama, to dance along to the tune.

Live and Die in Afrika

To me, the song is a proclamation of one’s pride in being African and living on the continent. They say that the grass is greener on the other side and that has been the narrative for a long time with many Africans dreaming of a better life abroad. We are now in an era where Africa is growing and the opportunities are opening up. This is the best time to live and die in Africa.

Say yeah

Very few Kenyan bands can serenade a woman the way Sauti Sol do. From the days of Lazizi, the band has been helping those of us not so endowed with “lines”. Say yeah is one of those songs you want to sing along to with and for your significant other. I can already see myself trying to pull of the simple salsa and kizomba moves I know. 🙂


Another one for the love song archives, Isabella is a one of the most beautiful love songs to be released this year. If you’re falling or currently in love then this is the song for you. If you only live once then the best you can do is love with all your heart, soul and mind.

It’s okay

Sauti Sol haven’t disappointed so far and the sampling of one of East Africa’s iconic tunes at the start was a pleasant surprise.

” Mapenzi ya dhati yo yo yo yo, si ya kupimana nguvu kwa
maneno eh
Mbona hivyo, yo yo yo
Mapenzi ya dhati yo yo yo yo, si ya kupimana nguvu kwa
maneno eh
Mbona hivyo, yo yo yo”

Nishike (hold me)

Can you be famous without a touch of controversy? In this digital age that seems unlikely though sometimes I feel people throw up a fuss for nothing. This was the case when Sauti Sol released the video to this track which did not go down well with some sector of our conservative society. Still, Nishike is a great song. Definitely something to be added to the sex playlist. 🙂

Dollar Dollar

Highlighting today’s materialistic society, Dollar Dollar is a song about the addiction, or rather obsession, with fancy lifestyles we have today. Though the persona is a woman, this obsession transcends all sexes and can be said of guys as well.

Still the one

” Another one for the ladies,” Bien proclaims at the start. This is a love story that so many of us can relate to. From primary school to post campus days, the love affair grows stronger with each phase of life. Listening to the song, it’s hard to believe they released it more than two years ago.

Kiss me

A lot might have been said, and sung, about the power of a kiss but it feels different when you listen to it from different perspectives. Sauti Sol not only highlight the kiss from a Romeo-Juliet perspective but also sing about different events like Judas kissing Jesus when betraying him.


You can never please the whole of society whatever you do and this was clear when Sauti Sol collaborated with Amos and Josh to release this song. Despite the hate though, Nerea is a beautiful song with a powerful message. Whether you’re pro-choice or pro-life, no one would advocate for an abortion unless it is absolutely necessary. What i liked most about this song is the point of view of a guy accepting responsibility in the pregnancy which in this day of dead beat dads is a big message.

Kuliko jana

I’ll be first to admit that Sauti Sol caught me off guard with this song. This song is a blessing in itself and if you’re looking for a gospel song to lift your spirits then you’re not far off. I could write a lot about it but I’d rather you got the album and listened to it.

Sambo party

Life is a dance, so put on your dancing shoes and get ready to dance. A bit underwhelming considering the songs I’ve listened to so far but I think in a dance setting this song might grow on me.

Nipe nikupe

Now this a dance tune. The upbeat rhythm of the song coupled with a really catchy chorus makes it something you’ll definitely be grooving to sometime in the future.

Shake yo bam bam

Seems dance is what Sauti Sol were going for with the final tracks of the album. If you factor in the previous two tracks then this is the crescendo. Funny this song didn’t go down well with some sections of the Sauti Sol faithful but I guess these are the same guys who were hating on Nishike so I’ll give them time.


The last song on the album is Sauti Sol’s dedication to their fans, Team Sauti Sol. After listening to all the tracks, it is time to relax and celebrate the journey.

Thank you Sauti Sol for this album.


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