Demystifying iTunes, Waabeh and Mdundo: The Listener.

Last week I went on a rant about music piracy in Kenya and partly attributed it to inaccessibility. The next two posts will seek to help the listener know where and how to easily purchase music and help the musician know how to make their music accessible.

Have you really wanted to purchase music, local or otherwise and the only available option was to either buy it online or in the case of local music to hunt down the artist(this is such a FAIL btw, post for another day) who is in the next town? You decided to settle for the online option only to go to iTunes or Waabeh, get lost and leave disgruntled? This post here is for you! Artists, I’ll deal with you in another post.

I’ll explain how to get music from three platforms: iTunes, Waabeh, and Mdundo.


To get music from iTunes, you have to start by downloading iTunes for windows or mac which is fairly easy from here. Once you get the app, create an apple id via iTunes store – sign up. While setting up an account, iTunes will require you to give some information about yourself as well as your financial information(Card Number, Security Code and card expiry date) for payment purposes.

iTunes accepts the following forms of payments and some may vary per country:

  • Credit cards
  • iTunes Cards
  • iTunes Store gift certificates
  • Content codes
  • Store credit (including Allowance Account balances)
  • ClickandBuy
  • PayEase
  • PayPal

Ok! In Kenya speak please. Glad you asked.

There are options available for both credit card holders and specific debit card holders. Most credit cards offered by banks can be used for online purchases and you can use this directly on iTunes. While setting up your account, submit the details under payment info and get shopping.

What if you don’t want to deal with credit cards and prefer to load money before using the card? Don’t fret. There are various options available, some are complicated like some banks will demand that you apply for a platinum debit cards that require a salary minimum in the 6 figures per month. Some options though are easy to navigate. I will highlight three cards you can use easily. I’m sure there are more options out there and it’s only a matter of research and one can determine which one best works for them.

a) KCB Prepaid General Purpose Card.

This is the card I use. A friend of mine told me about it some time last year. To get this card all you need is your original and copy of your National ID; a passport size photo and KES 1,500. They need an introduction letter from employer/KCB customer/ College according to the website but I didn’t submit any myself, carry it with you anyway. This card attracts an annual maintenance fee of KES 500(which is factored in in the KES 1500 for the first year). Wait 2 weeks, activate your card and get purchasing.

A major pus with this card is you never have to step in a bank again let alone have an account with KCB. You load it via MPesa. PayBill, Business No. is 522522 and your card number is the account number. I’m yet to figure out how to access my card statements but it’s nothing I can’t bug the good people at @KCBGroup from the comfort of my desk about.

The downside with this card though is the delay in payments especially with iTunes, you receive the music but it takes time to reflect. I understand however that this delay should not exceed two days.

b) Nakumatt Global Card.

Another friend of mine told me about this card just a few minutes ago, cool huh? I have gone on a tour of the inter-webs to find out what it’s all about and behold my findings:

This is a Global Prepaid Mastercard by Nakumatt Holdings Limited launched in collaboration with  Kenya Commercial Bank and Diamond Trust Bank launched last year. You will simply need your ID or Passport and I suppose a copy and walk over to a Nakumatt branch near you. You sign up with KES 1000 or load the card when you are ready to begin purchasing. Top-up can be done either through Nakumatt, KCB, DTB(Where they will require your ID or passport to prove ownership)  or via Mpesa Paybill no. 516606 and your phone number as the account. No bank account needed.

Once you are set up, submit payment info on iTunes and get purchasing.

c) Equity Autobanch Mastercard.

You will need an Equity Bank account before you can apply for this card. Details on this card are quite scant but I do know it works as any other Mastercard branded card. Walk over to an Equity Branch near you and if you don’t have an account yet be prepared to make more than one trip. Carry your ID or passport as well as a copy. Once you are set up, you know the drill.

I know iTunes looks complicated but it really isn’t once you have your payment options sorted. The best thing about iTunes is the access you get to international music as far back as you would like and discounts with pre-orders, instant access to released music, the whole package. You also don’t need to have Apple products to access your iTunes-purchased music, once you get it, consolidate the files and they’ll be saved to your PC’s storage from where you can transfer to other devices and most devices will play the AAC format.


Waabeh is Africa’s Audio Market. An interesting website where you will find music from all over Africa and funny features such as ‘gota’ replace the like button. To purchase music from Waabeh, you will need to sign up for an account on, pretty easy. Music is purchased using credits. A new account has zero credits so before you can make any purchases you will need to buy some credits. Click on your username and the Dashboard appears. Go to Purchases and you’ll see the available credits you can buy either 50, 100, 250 or 500. Each song is 40 shillings/40 credits. 1 credit is equivalent to 1 shilling.

You can either buy credits via Mpesa, Airtel Money, Yu cash, Orange money, Coop Bank, Equity, pesapal, Visa or Mastercard. This is a fairly easy platform to get music. Once you have purchased your credits, they appear on the top right corner of your account on an orange tab. You can then proceed to buy music. Identify the song or album, click on the shopping cart then confirm purchase. Go back to the dashboard then purchases and you’ll see the song(s) you bought. Click on the blue download icon and they will end up in your PC’s downloads folder.

Waabeh also offers music on free download which is very easy to download. The good people over at Waabeh have also made tutorial videos here and here that make life easy! They also have an easy to use android app available on the Google playstore.


“Mdundo is a music distribution platform that aims to give consumers access to African music by providing a mobile web music platform, where music can be downloaded legal, easy and fairly priced.” – Mdundo.

This is a popular platform especially with free download music. One can download up to 3 songs per day for free. For unlimited downloads, one can pay KES 100 per month via MPesa paybill no. 951802 account name: mdundo or you could send KES 100 Safaricom airtime to 0701166181. They previously had a scratch cards system that has since been discontinued. The unique feature is that the music is downloaded directly to your phone.

This is not a comprehensive list and if there is any other platform you would like addressed ar if you need any clarification, be sure to post your question in comment section or drop me an email ripplezinc[at]gmail[dot]com.


10 thoughts on “Demystifying iTunes, Waabeh and Mdundo: The Listener.

  1. For the Nakumatt Global Card, you have to sign up with 1000 bob. If you don’t have cash on you, you can plan to do that on a day they need to shop for stuff, load the cash on the card then pay for your items using the same card, kinda like a debit card. Easy peasy. Nakumatt should pay me for this.


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