Habel Kifoto is no doubt one of Kenya’s music legends and highly regarded pioneers.
He founded the Maroon Commandos band of the Kenya 7th Kenyan rifles then based at Gilgil barracks on October 1,1970. In January 1st, he remained its continuous bandleader for 32 years. While other bands were collapsing and breaking up in the 80s and the 90s, Kifoto steered the Maroon Commandos to remain Kenya’s most consistent and decorated band, with an unmatched string of hits. During his time,Kifoto not only composed and sung most of Maroon's greatest hits, but was also instrumental in grooming and recruiting other musicians into the band. Kifoto retired on September 30,2002. Senior Sergent Kifoto passed the mantle to a new crop of dedicated musicians, led by Tuesday Oguro, who continued the tradition.
An all-round musician, Kifoto played lead and solo guitars, keyboards, sax and sung on most of the bands releases composed by him or his contemporaries, among them Laban Ochuka (RIP) and David Kibe. After his retirement Kifoto passed his time minding the welfare of fellow musicians as the elected chairman of the Music Copyright Society of Kenya till his death on July 31st 2011. This double CD compilation features Habel Kifoto’s greatest hits recorded over a span of 20 years and constitutes the greatest musical legacy of Maroon Commandos.
They included Sighenyi Sheshe, his first composition recorded in 1969; Charonyi ni wasi, the undoubtedly the bands greatest single recorded in 1978 that won a silver disc (1981) after selling 30,000 copies within three months; the familiar anthem Uvivu mbaya (1981); Christina and Riziki, title track of two classic albums released in quick succession in the 1980s that won accolades.