Dan 'chizi' Aceda

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Dan Aceda
Dan Aceda at Thursday Night Live in NaIrobi by Paul Munene.jpg
Aceda performing at The Thursday Night Live show in Nairobi on the 10th of May 2018
Dan Okoth

(1984-10-10) October 10, 1984 (age 34)
Alma materUniversity of Nairobi
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • actor
  • architect
Years active2005–present
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • bass
  • drums
Associated acts

Dan "chizi" Aceda (born Dan Okoth Ochieng' in 1984 in Kisumu District in Western Kenya), is a Kenyan musician, entrepreneur, architect, and actor from Nairobi. He has recently been recognised by a Kenyan online magazine as having one of the top 10 most iconic male voices in his home country.[1] In 2014 he was nominated to be a part of the Global Accelerator Conference for entrepreneurs organised by the UN Foundation in New York City.[2] He is also a 2013–2014 Global Health Corps fellow [3]


Aceda holds two degrees from the University of Nairobi: a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies attained in 2008 and a bachelor's degree in Architecture attained in 2010. He attended Strathmore School and Kilimani Primary School as well as Shadrack Kimalel Primary School.


Aceda was the recipient of two Kisima Awards garnered in 2008 for Best Male Afro Fusion artiste as well as Songwriter of the year.[4] He was also nominated for the 2011 Kisima Awards in the Best Afro Fusion category.[5][6] In 2011 he became the first Kenyan musician to perform at the Lake of Stars Festival in Malawi.[7] Prior to this Dan had performed at the 2010 SawaSawa Festival in Nairobi Kenya.[8] He was also a cast member in the 2009 Musical Mo Faya that was written by compatriot Eric Wainaina and staged at the 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival.[9]

Previously he was nominated in the 2008 edition of the Groove Awards in the Category of Artiste of the Year[10]


Aceda has recorded and released two studio albums. SULUWE, his debut album was produced in 2005 by David Blackman Muthami and published by Kijiji Records. The album title is a corruption of a Dholuo word that means "star". This album featured Aceda's most famous song "sanasana".[11] His second album "Benganology" was released in 2010. It featured production work by Robert "Rkay" Kamanzi, Chris Adwar, Aaron Rimbui, Tim Rimbui and David Muthami. The album also features the 2009 hit song "Saida". The album caused local Kenyan media to label Dan "the crown prince of Benga" in reference to the style of music called Benga that is indigenous to East Africa and specifically Kenya.[12]


The two albums feature collaborations with several Kenyan musicians including Eric Wainaina, Wyre, Neema Ntalel, Sanaipei Tande and Kanjii Mbugua. In 2007 Dan featured on the Umoja Pamoja project alongside Suzanna Owiyo, Eric Wainaina, Sara Mitaru, Nyota Ndogo, Neema Ntalel, as well as Karen Lucas. The project was funded by the US Embassy in Nairobi.

Aceda was featured on the 2008 Action Aid project alongside Pastor Brian and Tim Rimbui to produce the song "Lift your hands". He was also featured on the song "Colours" by Joseph Hellon.

Aceda featured on Songs by local Rappers Charles Righa[13] and Richard 'A-star' Njau.


Aceda has written songs for several Kenyan musicians including Kanjii Mbugua (what if, Nanana, Posibo, Mr Money), Tim Rimbui (Shamba la Wanyama, Lift your hands), Joseph Hellon (Colours), Atemi Oyungu (Domestics) among others.[14] He was also among the writers of the 2006 Mavuno Worship Project that was published by Kijiji Records in conjunction with Mavuno Church.

Current work[edit]

Aceda performs in Nairobi regularly and has created a quarterly event dubbed The Affair which features fellow musicians Chris Adwar, Jacob Asiyo and Atemi Oyungu. In 2011, Aceda launched the Mabawa Project, a charitable initiative aimed at providing school books for needy children in Kenya.[15][16]


  1. ^ http://vibeweekly.com/home/features/2692-the-top-ten-most-iconic-male-voices-kenya.html
  2. ^ https://www.flickr.com/photos/unfoundation/14462513281/in/set-72157644855756669
  3. ^ http://ghcorps.org/fellows/current-fellows/2013-2014/
  4. ^ "Kisima Music Awards". Kisimaawards.co.ke. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Kisima Music Awards list of nominees released". Standardmedia.co.ke. Archived from the original on 16 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  6. ^ http://www.kisimaawards.co.ke/downloads/Kisima-awards-nominee-list.pdf
  7. ^ "Lake of Stars Malawi Music Festival". Lakeofstars.org. 15 October 2009. Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  8. ^ "Sawa Sawa Festival". Sarakasi.org. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  9. ^ "Cast". Mo Faya the Musical. Archived from the original on 18 August 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  10. ^ http://www.kenyangospel.com/news/groove-awards-2008-nominees.php
  11. ^ "Chizi – Suluwe". mwafrika.com. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  12. ^ "Dan "Chizi" Aceda releases "BENGANOLOGY"". Kwelimag.com. Retrieved 18 October 2011.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Rigga – The Awakening". mwafrika.com. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  14. ^ "Stories – Kanjii". Kijijirecords.com. Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  15. ^ "Kenya: Benga Prince Dan Aceda Launches Mabawa Initiative". allAfrica.com. 27 July 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  16. ^ "Dan Aceda Launches 'Mabawa Project'". Vibeweekly.com. 25 July 2011. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2011.