african · music

Series: Young, Gifted and African – Mumala


If you are not familiar with my Young, Gifted and African Series, check out my previous two posts HERE and HERE!

Nicole Maloba is a talented singer and songwriter from Kenya. We go waaay back, and even used to sing in school assemblies together! Shout out N.I.S!

With her stage name – Mumala, she is taking the Kenyan music scene by storm!

Mumala Maloba is a singer songwriter who began to cause a stir within the crop of young musicians in Nairobi. Having come from a musical background, she started her musical journey very young. By age six she was participating in Christmas musicals and carols and had even begun writing songs at the age of ten. Her second grade teacher called her a young ‘Miriam Makeba’, but Mumala had never heard of her until she discovered her music and fell in love.

She also grew up listening to the sounds of legends that her elder siblings listened to, such as Racheal Ferrell, Jill Scott, and Yvonne Chaka Chaka amongst others. While studying in Nairobi International School, she met the current Penya – Africa Director, Natalie Lukkenear who mentored and encouraged her to join ‘Sauti Academy’ which is a one-year music program designed to manage talent and develop artists.

The budding musician believes that for her to continue to grow and learn more about music she surrounds herself with mentors such as June Gachui, Sara Mitaru, Sauti Sol, and Elani. Mumala released her first Single “Where did the love go” in April 2013 then following with the release of her 2nd single “Paper chasing” ft Octopizzo produced by Polycarp ‘Fancy Fingers’ in 2014. After a long hiatus in the music scene Mumala’s latest single ‘Lose Myself’ was released in November last year.

Mumala has performed at various events such as Soulful Expressions,the Kinanda Arts Festival, Soul for Soul Concerts, Chords and cords unplugged show, Nairobi and Naivasha Fashion Market, TML100 feat Zonke, Blankets and Wine, Thursday Nite Live at Choices, Up Live II, Rift Valley Festival, Story Moja Hay Festival, Simplified Soul J.A.M, Industry Nite and private events such as weddings. Mumala has shared stages with Kenyan artists such as Just a Band, Sara Mitaru, Ayub Ogada, Kato Change, Sauti Sol and Elani amongst others but has also shared stages with International artists such as Grammy nominee Joe Thomas during a grand concert in 2012, Zonke at a TML100 concert and International Zouk star Zulu from Mauritius leading to them collaborating on a hit single in French and Swahili dubbed ‘Sweet life’. Mumala recently graduated from Middlesex University with a First class honors in Law. The 23 year old is definitely one of the female vocalists to look out for in the coming months.

Keep reading to get to know more about the vocal powerhouse -she tells us more about her passion, her plans for the future and everything in between- during her interview below!

  • What is your name and how old are you?-My name is Nicole Maloba I’m 23 years old.
  • Where are you from, and where do you live now? I’m proudly Kenyan. I live in Kenya at the moment.
  • What do you love the most about your country? The fast paced life, always keeps my adrenaline pumping!
  • Describe yourself in three words. Funny, Talented , Intelligent lol
  • Tell me about your passion? My passion… music and advocacy. The joy of songwriting, performing however I don’t do it as much as I used to. Being a full time lawyer, there are struggles in finding a balance. But I’m figuring it out…
  • When did you discover this passion? Since age eight or so. My grade school teacher would always call me Miriam Makeba… I guess she sensed my creative side way before I did.
  • What drove you to pursue this? The answer to that is what didn’t. Lol I have too much soul in me the voice is always yearning to be freed.
  • Who is your biggest supporter? My sister, she’s my rock and support system. Always there even when I didn’t need her to be. Constantly grateful.
  • Who do you look up to? Jill Scott. Her music has purpose and drive it’s like she is an advocate but in song. She not only inspires in songwriting but also in performance, I’m utterly ‘wowed’ every time.
  • Who would you love to meet, Dead or Alive? Why? Gosh not fair so many people but top of my list would be Aretha Franklin. Dang she oozes finesse, effortlessly soulful.
  • What are some obstacles you’ve faced so far? Like most people self-doubt. There are times I’ve felt defeated, exhausted and drained. But I’ve learnt that there is only so much one can do. Motivational books, music and documentaries have become a daily dosage for me. Trust it to keep my mindset where it needs to be.
  • Where do you see your brand in the next 3-5 years? I’d like to perform at festivals all over Africa and at large. Using music as my tool to conquer.
  • Do you plan to further your education? How will you combine the two? Yes I actually intend to go back to university for my masters. I try not to worry about the future cause plans don’t always push through. All I know is that I shall be singing as long as I can.
  • Any advice for someone that is just starting out, in a similar field? Patience, one needs a lot of it and also staying true to your sound and beliefs. A lot of challenges will always crop up but as long as you keep doing you with honesty and to the best of your ability then the fruits will be reaped just keep calm.Follow Mumala on her social media:@MumalaMaloba


    Mumala Maloba