©Sami Khan
©Sami Khan

Dembede Mido aka Checkmate Mido started performing at WAPI (Words and Pictures) where he became widely known for his beatboxing and freestyle skills. He released the collaboration album Broken City (2010) featuring Australian Femcee Izzy Brown and world reknowned percussionist Tenpar Tella. He acted as the main character in Mayor's Diary, a play on corruption in modern day Nairobi. He then graduated from The Theatre Company's Training Program where he and six other graduates created the musical Shungwaaya that went on a Kenyan and got invited to the Festival Du Theatre Des Realités in Mali. He graduated from TTC's Performer's Lab where he collaborated with five participants to create six original and new East African plays, among this Kimbia which he is set to direct later in 2013.He is currently recording his debut solo album set for release in 2014.


Went the drum,
Bass came in between,
Clack! Clack! Hit the hat... Then came a dream.
Penny for a thought,
Freedom is what music sought,
So... Buh-boom!
We fought,
With screams of bass in between,
Clack! Clack! So they fell and songs reigned supreme.
Love was made to the woman named Queen,
Get the picture the frame brings,
Kisses here and sweat scenes,
Wet things,
Among them the Queens' panties and soon....
Bed sheets,
We made heat,
Baying to be cooled by wet lips,
So... Buh-boom!
Went the drum,
Bass came in between,
Clack! Clack! Follows the music of the sweet tenor Queen...
Ebony skin,
Meet dark chocolate, my version of yang and yin,
Let she fantasize of the pleasures my tongue shall bring,
To the... Buh-boom!
Of her drum,
With some bass in between,
Clack! Clack! Cracks her voice when she start to sing!
'tfeels like morning, her grass is wet with dew,
Praising the rhythm that man knew,
And the Buh-boom!
Of her heart speeds up,
Her peak must,
Be getting closer, because as we hug,
She gets, the music becomes louder,
And her hip sways to the song now,
The Buh-boom!
Of the heart if not stronger then strong now,
The bass in between tones down,
To low hums,
And the Clack! Clack! Of the hat, turns to sighs,
Depicting goodbye to highs,
And Hello to lows, expressed simply like,
For example...
I'm down for you!


When the night time’s done
The city under the sun
Is quiet during the day
Where the girls like to
Lie to a brother
Tight pants
short skirts
all to impress a brother,
Preferably light skinned
If you're fast as lightning
And maybe gamble safe you might win
Sin goes unnoticed like light wind
The city gives fire for life when
The stars appear over the building at night and
It’s like a game of charades the wise men
Become fools and fools get enlightened
Let’s follow suit and hide when
The skies start to brighten

In Nairobi…

When the night time’s done
The city under the sun
Is quiet during the day
Where the boys might fight one another
Upper cuts
left-right don’t disrespect a brother
Else get pow-powed
And chowed out
You bow out
Of the city where police just POW! POW!
Tourists come and find lions on the concrete
With all the warmth, heat
Doesn’t melt the cold hearts and cold feet
Run for hiding
When the sun is rising
Forget the horizon
We only deal in the darkest of weather
If the government asks I’m Mr. Whoever
Who might flow sweet
I'm Mr. Tic Tac flow
Writing songs just to see if they could bring back dough
So I could buy back
Love from girls they’d say hi back
When I say hi to
Them when the skies blue
But when the skies darken
I say goodnight to
The street lights that shine on wrong that seems right
So let’s follow suit and hide from this night

In Nairobi…


Weka kichwa juu ukiwa chini,
Nitafute angani mi ni nyota..

(Verse One)
Anaweza sikia mlango ikibishwa, hataki kuifungua,
Ni kitambo aliaibishwa, bado inamsumbua,
Akitembea sura hufichwa, lakini wanamjua,
Salamu zimefichwa, ye hupokea bila kuzua,
Kanisani hajaingizwa ingawa moyo inaugua,
Jina lake akiitwa atalenga bila kujua,
Dunia mbili za fikra akili ishamchukua,
Mchana ni usiku na usiku ni mchana kwake..

Tabasam Tabasam,
Tabasam Tabasam
Tabasam Tabasaaam,
Panguza machozi,
Acha kulia...

(Verse Two)
Tabasam ni jina ya binti,
With big dreams at sixteen,
To be seen,
On big screens,
Though si big deal,
Angejifeel still,
With beauty that chills skin,
Her face would still bring,
Dough, even with scars,
Her earings glow,
Diamonds, The real thing,
The perfect king's queen,
Plus Ms. Thing,
Had brains too,
But you know how the game do,
This one late night she came through,
The darkness and they knew,
So they crept to,
Her figure, When the footsteps came too,
Close, she started running and prayed to,
Crying Lord please save me from this ordeal,
But the skies clouded,
The guys rounded and cornered her,
Punched her face to silence ripped her dress and tore her bra,
She couldn't scream cause of the neck grip,
So they took turns and as she felt it,
She cried internally,
Wounded eternally...

Tabasam Tabasam,
Tabasam Tabasam
Weka kichwa juu ukiwa chini,
Nitafute angani mi ni nyota,
Panguza machozi,
Acha kulia...

(Verse Two)
No bruises no scars,
No laughter no love,
No need for apologies the damage is already done,
Her heart torn apart,
Her mind stuck on the past,
How long will this pain last,
How slow in a moment like this time will pass,
Hidden suffering deep within her eyes,
So her soul volunteers to cry silent tears,
Dreaming nightmares symbolizing she still lives in fear,
Feeling insecure,
Why they had to break into her privacy and steal her innocence away,
She's losing her marbles,
She's going insane,
Another unpredicted future destroyed...

Tabasam Tabasam,
Tabasam Tabasam
Tabasaam Tabasaaam,
Panguza machozi,
Acha kulia...
Put your head up high look up to the sky i'm a star,
Put your head in the skies