Before he became Lal Daggy, Douglas Munyendo was listening and dancing to various musicians who came on the radio and televisions as a child in Nairobi, Kenya. It was when he was five years old that he became very sick and lost his hearing.
A childhood of music quickly silenced
After becoming deaf, he was sent to a special education school with a deaf program; there he learned KSL (Kenyan Sign Language) with the rest of his studies. The school discouraged music, thinking that there was no point to having music available to deaf children. Munyendo, however, sneaked off to watch music videos and studied musicians growing up. His favorites were the rappers Lil’ Wayne, 50 Cent, and Akon who hails from Senegal himself.
On the way to success
With his inspirations, Munyendo took on the mantle of Lal Daggy and promoted his raps to recording companies. The recording companies weren’t interested as the producers couldn’t understand how a deaf rapper using sign language could become a success in the music industry. Lal Daggy proved them wrong when he showed them how: he made a music video of himself signing the raps and dancing with a voice-over of an interpreter rapping the words.
Once the studios saw this, they became interested finally and Lal Daggy took off from there.
His raps are mainly about being proud to be Kenyan and describes the beauty of the country. He now performs live at concerts and special events.
Lal Daggy’s social presence can be viewed here:
Video credit: African Slum Journal