He doesn’t even need an introduction anymore. Justin Bradford, also known as Justo Mzungu or Makanga Mzungu, has been a sensation since we unearthed him in August last year.
A couple of months later, Justo is now a popular YouTube vlogger and more recently a musician.
The American is back in Kenya for the launch of his new music, including a collaboration with Khaligraph Jones.
Here’s what he has to say:
“Justo is an American citizen. When you hear me speaking Swahili don’t think that I am Kenyan. I was born in Portland Oregon, United States, but I lived in Kenya for several years. I used to stay in Kayole, near DO’s area, Masimba and also at Greenspan. I also lived in Upper Hill, Riruta Satellite, and Athi River. While in Kitengela I used to go to a place called Pork City to eat nyama choma.
There are few reasons I love Kenya. One is because there is so much happening in this country. For example, when I saw the President’s son Muhoho Kenyatta reading a speech from his phone with an accent it made me laugh so much and decided to do the Muhoho challenge which was trending at the time. The challenge I did was well received and it is one of the highest watched on my Youtube channel. For me, I just like to make people laugh. When I see people laughing, I’m very happy.
I chose to learn Swahili and not any other language. I love Swahili and it is easy to speak. When I speak Swahili it brings joy to me. I have a feeling that if everyone across the world spoke in Swahili, there would be world peace. I love Kenyan culture.
I have no specific target. I just love all people regardless of their race. I want to speak Swahili with everyone. If we speak Swahili we will all feel as one. To all Kenyans who are following and watching my videos, you make me feel like I am Kenyan and I want to say thank you. Keep watching and following me on my Youtube channel. Let us all be friends.
One day I went to the subway and said ‘Mbao mbao’. I was happy because I was not arrested for public nuance because the police did not understand what I was saying, but if I had said it in English I probably would have been arrested. When I lived in Kayole I used to use a matatu Sacco called Forward Travellers, so one day I thought to myself why can’t I be a makanga (tout)? So I approached them and told them I wanted to be a tout and they welcomed me. Every day I would call passengers, ushering them in while banging the side of the matatu. That is how I learned the phrase.
The video about ugali made me get noticed especially in Kenya. That video, where I’m cooking ugali, is the one that I can say went viral. I love ugali very much and when I cannot get corn flour I feel depressed. I always cook ugali. There are so many shops which sell East and Western African foods. That is where I always go to do my shopping. The song ‘Fundamentals’ by Ken Wa Maria was playing in the background as I cooked ugali because I love that song very much. It reminded me of my days when I used to live in Athi River. It was very popular at the time.
Apart from ugali I also like other Kenyan delicacies. From chapati, ndengu, managu, even roasted maize on the roadsides. There are those sausages which are sold by the roadside they are very delicious. Mukimo, githeri and especially roasted goat you can never say no to those. Simply said, I just love all Kenyan food and it is one of my favorites.
I love to do both comedy and singing. When I was young, my mother used to sing every time to the point it annoyed me. But overall I still loved it.
I’m in Kenya to launch my new song, “Ukitaka”, which I recently released. “Ukitaka” – which means “If you want” in Swahili – is a heartfelt plea to a lady, which simply goes like, “If you want me, I am here.” I dedicated the song to my Kenyan prospect who we dated and broke up but in the song, I was simply telling her that if she still wants me, I am here. I have a friend who introduced me to Beat Ya Keggah. After we met they agreed to produce my song.
I already have someone special and she is Kenyan. So to all my fans who are telling me to come back to Kenya and get married I already have a Kenyan lady. We met back home, but she could not come back to Kenya with me. Do you know how expensive it is to travel? But we will come together next time.
I also will be collaborating with Khaligraph Jones. I met him the other day and we agreed to do a collabo together before I leave. I will also be doing another video of ‘mbao mbao’ in Kayole soon.
Apart from music and comedy we also have a children’s home In Nakuru. Anything to do with charity I hold it dear in my heart. I love to help whenever I can.”