It’s always a thrill when international acts are hosted in Kenya. This time round, Christafari Band from across the oceans – Lomita, California; are on their Kenyan tour featuring Tunedem band(who are hosting them) that started on 28th April 2017 and will continue until 14th May 2017. Tunedem band’s leader and founder, Kepha Charles is the official point man and tour organizer.
Photo credits: @Javier.delcid
Here is a bit of history on their beginnings:
Christafari was founded in 1989 by Pastor Mark Mohr. Raised in a Christian family, Mohr strayed from his spiritual upbringing during his teens and turned to drugs and alcohol, going as far as growing and even dealing marijuana. After running away from home, living on the streets and hitting rock-bottom, he had an undeniable encounter with God that drastically transformed his world. At 17, Mark re-committed his life to Christ and took what he now calls his “Freedom Step” out of addiction. At that point, his greatest desire was to help others escape the same bondage that once entangled him. He felt God leading him to start the first Gospel reggae band in America. Just two weeks later the band was birthed at a camp talent show, when a friend said, “So you’re not a Rastafarian anymore; you’re a Christafarian.” And the name stuck! While their name may just sound like a play on words, in Biblical Greek it stands for a group of people who bear or represent the name of Christ. “At that time, the best advice I was given was to go to Bible College so I could be theologically and doctrinally sound,” says Mark, who attended BIOLA University with an emphasis on pastoral studies and missions. During his college years, Christafari continued to take shape as Mark wrote songs for the band’s first three albums.
In 1999, after recording two albums with Gotee Records under the tutelage of TobyMac, Mark branched out and founded his own record company, Lion of Zion Entertainment, with the goal of “reaching the world through world music,” and he later launched GospelReggae.com In 2002, while ministering in the Caribbean, Mohr met Trinidadian musician Avion Blackman. The two married a year and a half later and Avion joined the band full-time on bass and vocals. Avion comes from a very large musical family. Her father Ras shorty invented Soca and Jamoo music and trained his children to become his own backing band. She began singing lead on stage with him at only four years old and playing bass in his band The Love Circle at 14. Christafari is comprised of men and women from various continents, countries and cultures that share a love for reggae music and passion for following Jesus to the ends of the earth.
I got to attend #ChillageAtTheVillage on Sunday 30th April 2017. It was organized by Kubamba radio and held at Nairobi Chapel, Ngong Road. Kerry Kagiri, who hosts the ‘Turnt’ show on Kubamba radio, was the MC of the day. Dj Robo was on the decks ensuring that the crowd got turnt. Dj Moz later took over as Churchboy led the crowd dancing to some old skul music. Some of the performances were from Patrow, Webi who performed some of the tracks from his 2016 album – Lokunda(love) and Tunedem Band whose performance was electrifying to say the least. Christafari band topped the performances as the audience enjoyed their well-known gospel reggae music. A snippet of their upcoming video ‘Jump High Like A Maasai’ was also shot on site capturing the crowd. Chillage at the Village was definitely back in a grand way.
Christafari had also been to House of Grace, Langata on Friday(see photos here) and were ministering at Dandora Stadium grounds on Labour day. They will be in the country until 14th May 2017. See the poster below or visit their website christafari.com/events for more details on where you can catch their live performances.
Blog Written by: Phoenix