Legendary Kenyan band Maroon Commandos is indeed one of East Africa's finest bands!
The group was formed in 1970 by bandleader Habel Kifoto other members. The next year they signed with Polydor Kenya and released the hit "Emily". In 1972 the band had a traffic accident, which left some of their members dead. After the accident the band was dormant for five years before releasing their album Raziki Haivatu after 1977. They also released the song "Charonyi ni Wasi", sung in Taita language, which became a major hit.
The band had a 10-year recording break which ended with the release of "Shika Kamba" album in 2007, released by the Sound Africa label.
The band has had several line-up changes since its formation. Former bandleader Habel Kifoto has retired from the military and is currently (as of 2009 )the chairman of Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK). One of its former core members, David Kibe Left the band after he rose in the military ranks and had no more time for the band. Another former member was Laban Ochuka, who also played for another army band, the Ulinzi Orchestra. Ochuka died in May 2006.
The current bandleader is Diwani Nzaro. From late 90's he was part of the Malindi-based "Magazines" band, that disbanded in 2002. He subsequently joined Kenyan Army and their band Maroon Commandos. He contributed for the two latest albums of the group, Shika Kamba and Kenya Unite. While still a band member, he released his debut solo album in 2009. On the album he performs traditional giriama songs. THe group has also had female members, like singers Doris Chepchumba Tanui and Barbara Chepkoech Kiprotich .