James “Jimmy” Rugami looks through records inside his vinyl records stall in Kenyatta Market in Nairobi, Kenya. Pic: Photo Courtesy
‘Vinyl is king!’: Why Kenya is having a record revival
In the foothills of Kenya’s highest mountain, Mount Kenya, James “Jimmy” Rugami received a broken record player — which he fixed — from his brother.
He set off to the capital Nairobi and spent all his savings on records. Now, 32 years later, he’s Kenya’s foremost record dealer and operates Nairobi’s go-to store for African music gems. He’s a living archive of African music.
“Most of the music shops were closing down because of piracy and CDs. Guys were moving to other formats of playing music. I would go buy records from those shops closing down,” said Rugami.READ MORE