Why are you called Dufla?
I was born in Baragoi, Samburu County. I’m the last-born of six children. My real name is David Long’oji Ekiru. My mother nicknamed me Dufla because there was a milk calabash that I always loved and carried everywhere. My mum called it dubla, but when I started my music career, I changed it to Dufla, which is my stage name.
How was your childhood like?
Baragoi is a rustling-prone area. Did you ever encounter any deadly attacks when growing up?
I tried to avoid it, but one time I had to defend my bull Losogol (that my father gave me) and the rest of the livestock from rustlers. I had to step up and be counted as a man.
When did you first move to Nairobi?
I first came to Nairobi in 2013. I actually hated it because I had always imagined that it was a shopping centre where I could meet everyone I saw on TV. I was living with a friend at a place called Kabiria in Riruta Satellite. We lived in a shack that cost us Sh400 per month in rent. I did odd jobs like selling milk for a woman who paid me whatever she had. I did not have a salary or a defined daily wage. Some days, she would pay me Sh50, while other days, she just gave me food. It wasn’t easy.
How has your music journey been like?
I developed an interest in music while in school. I composed about 16 songs, which I dedicated to my bull, Losogol. I would perform during various family and marriage ceremonies as well.
How did you end up recording at Grandpa Records?
That wasn’t easy either. I used to go to studio every day after being introduced by Mzazi Willy Tuva. It took almost a whole year for them to recognise my talent. All this time, I used to commute from my shack in Kabiria and one day, I could not make it back to the house.
So, I begged the producer, Visita, to let me sleep in the studio. That was the beginning of our relationship. I recorded my first song, Yes You Do, but it did not do so well. I had to go back to the village to get some money to shoot my video.
You had property in the village?
Yes. My bull Losogol. But it wasn’t easy because my family was not happy with the path I had taken.
Why was that so?
My family treasures cattle more than anything. It was very difficult to convince them that I had to sell the bull. I even called a clan meeting to convince them to let me sell the bull.
He was 15 years old at the time and only worth Sh28,000. That was the most painful experience since I was quite attached to him. I wish I know where he is now. I would buy him back.
Your biggest breakthrough is when you collaborated with Cindy Sanyu from Uganda. How did you meet?
She actually heard my music at a nightclub and decided to look for me. I wasn’t planning to do a collabo.
Is it true that you are dating her?
No, we’re not dating. Those are just rumours. I can’t talk about my love life. Not now.
Do you still live in Kabiria?
No. I thank God that music is finally paying and I have upgraded to something better.
Have you upgraded your parents’ lifestyle too?
They have totally refused. I send them money but they are still nomads. I always have to call them two months in advance if I want to talk to them. I have to find out which part of Baragoi they will be. I talk to my mother occasionally when she goes to the shopping center. She doesn’t know how to use her phone and has to be assisted.
What do you miss most about your village?
Having a cow. I really wish I had more space in Nairobi. I swear I would keep cattle.