With the unexpected announcement of the split of Camp Mulla, Boniface Mwalii from the Nation sheds some light on what led to the breakup and what this means for the future of the group..
Come August this year, Camp Mulla were scheduled to make their stage debut in Zambia in a cross-continental tour that would have taken them to Zimbabwe and several other African countries. In between, they would also visit Dubai and do a mini-tour of Europe in efforts to establish the outfit as the newest-kids-on-the-block in the urban African music scene. But the tour somehow fell apart at the last minute.
Mid last week, Camp Mulla’s record label, Sub Sahara Entertainment, issued a press release, confirming what insiders in the music industry already knew, that the group was breaking up and going their separate ways. The release said that : “It is true that Miss Karun is no longer with the group; she has left the group to prepare to join university in the USA in August. She’s also working on solo projects. Another of the group’s former members, Thee MC Africa (previously known as The Taio Tripper) is also pursuing a solo career. Both Miss Karun and Thee Mc Africa are wished all the best in their pursuits.”
The statement ended months of speculation in local entertainment circles, and just when rumors of an impending break-up had reached fever pitch. According to a source privy to events that led to the split, Miss Karun broke the news that she was no longer going to be part of the group during a meeting between the label’s management and the artistes ahead of their planned trip for the MTV Africa All Stars show held last week in Durban, South Africa.
It was after this shocking revelation that Thee MC apparently also resolved to quit if the sultry-voiced Karun left. As a result, the two remaining members of the group, Shappaman and Marcus were forced to perform in Durban on their own, bringing along Collo, with whom they have just released a new track called ‘Chafua’, as a replacement.
While heartbroken fans across the continent and the dashed hopes of the entire Kenyan music fraternity might be a lot to contend with, the looming financial losses for the group’s label are expected to be huge given that they had reportedly signed several contracts to perform and even received down payments for some of the shows.
But not all is lost as Miss Karun will continue to record with the rest of the group and even do some solo stuff when she’s in the country for summer holidays in December. She’s also slated to release a new solo track though Sub Sahara.
And as Sub Sahara’s press release states “Kus Ma and Shappa will still carry the Camp Mulla flag and are the new face of the group.” With the entry of Sub Sahara’s newest artist Tiri, who featured in the ‘new’ Camp Mulla single with Collo, time will tell what the future holds for the ‘Mulla Team’.
Sources close to the group say that the introduction of producer Kus Ma’s girlfriend Tiri may have led to the breakup of the group, that plus rumors of personalities clashes within the group that had been brewing since the group was put together.
But as Hip Hop activist Buddha Blaze, who is credited as being one of the first to spot Camp Mulla’s potential, says “we can only be thankful that they put Kenyan music on the global radar with their BET nomination and appreciate the fantastic album they gave us.”
The real question now is whether each of the old and new Camp Mulla members have what it takes to stand on their own.