Virtuosity, work ethic, self-promotion, a unique touch and memorable stage presence determine the means by which a guitarist gets the best opportunities in the cutthroat music industry. Ngare Mukiria takes a look at the most prominent young Kenyan guitarists who are currently at the apex of their strumming careers 1 Polycarp Otieno Probably the most acclaimed axe man of the country within this age group, Polycarp alias Fancy Fingers has managed to grow from being Sauti\u2019s Soul one-man band displaying a spectacular proficiency as a guitarist, to being able to blend rhumba, blues-rock and pop in a way no one has seen before. His open-minded personality mixed with an unforgettable screen persona makes him a fan-favourite, as he never fails to hit the right notes proving many a time that less is more. 2 Kato Change Few people can say they have had the privilege of touring Brazil on multiple occasions, played on multiple seasons on non-competitive continental music show Coke Studio, and performed and produce music with music greats such as Salif Keita, Aloe Blacc and Luedji Luna. Not to forget the success of his individual projects such as The Change Experience, this Afro jazz guitarist has paved the way for many instrumental composers, solidifying a brand that is both charming and joyful to listen to. 3 Jack Muguna After playing for the likes of Sarabi, Makadem, and the Nairobi Horns Project among others, Muguna has managed to prove that virtuosity and fame can work hand-in-hand, as very few players can express the ferocious boss-like expertise of the incredibly tough jazz genre, and managing to switch from be-pop, blues, seben and almost any other contemporary style with seeming ease. Now debuting his first instrumental album called Journey Of The Soul, very few may ever come to realise the heights of artistry that boast an unparalleled level of musicality. Always smiling with his cherry semi-hollow body Ibanez in hand, Muguna isn\u2019t one to miss in a crowd. 4 Kevin Munyi Managing to achieve the impossible by providing the service of a solo instrumental act, Munyi has made a name for himself in the highest classes of city hotels and restaurants, fusing his love for classical and African rhythms as Checkmate Mido\u2019s (the dancing poet) right-hand man. With both stylish and masterful delivery, he can transport any music lover to a nostalgic world with his Spanish licks and atmospheric arrangements. A definite must watch for an intimate and soothing Friday night if one needed it. 5 Ivy Alexander Having made a name for herself in a predominantly male-dominated scene, Ivy has now managed to tour along with in the OneBeat international music exchange programme, performed for Coke Studio and gigged with the likes of Karun, Noel Nderitu and The Flower Project (an all-female contemporary jazz band). Having won the award for Guitar Guru at the Nairobi Guitar Festival, her background in gospel and neo-soul music leaves a golden touch on everything she plays.\u00a0 6 Robin Marcel Moustache Robin is a co-founder of the Nairobi Guitar Festival, which has helped engineer a forum for instrumentalists to exchange and grow together. He is also the lead guitarist of Tha Movement Band and one of the East Africa\u2019s best reggae groups The Roots Connection. He is a very \u2018in the pocket\u2019 type of a musician who supplements his rich musical diversity with his music business know-how. He definitely displays the advantage this plays in his career, as being a great instrumentalist is not always enough to become a high-end guitarist in any highly competitive music scene. 7 Tugi Mlamba Tugi has worked with a number of musicians including Joseph Hellon, Tetu Shani and Muthoni the Drummer Queen. His stage presence and personality are always energetic and bring a sense of adventure and excitement to every show he performs at. Now, also a rising songwriter in his own right, nothing seems to be slowing his rise to the front of both ethnic culture and pop serving as a studio guitarist for the likes of Nviiri The Storyteller. He his an unstoppable groove machine always bringing down the house with his band dubbed the The Dynamiques. 8 Newman Owuor This guitar maestro has paid his dues and is reaping the rewards of long-term dedication having performed at the Safaricom Jazz Festival with the Nairobi Horns Projects and touring through Southern Africa with Maia Von Lekow. An African Guthrie Govan in the making, his love for jazz-fusion and progressive rock are now a staple part of his sound. A lot seems to be written in the cards of fate for this young man who turns 30 this year. 9 Evans Mutanduki A product of self-will, passion and perseverance, Evans is a true master of ethnic, rock and tribal fusion. Always expressing his craft with massive allure, he is quite surely soon to be one of the most revered session musicians locally, due to his iconic hard rock and Afro-fusion elements. He\u2019s fun to listen to, as he always has a surprise up his sleeve. 10 Shyam Shama Nicknamed the Shaman of Rhumba, he has conquered the stigma of what a Kenyan-born Indian should sound like having little to no other peers in his profession of the same cultural identity in Kenya playing African music. The founder and once manager of Ochestra Masika Band, Sham spots an up-beat, but wise and grounded personality. Now based in the UK, he is still pursuing his love\u2014rhumba\u2014which as a musical genre is quite technically difficult for even the most experienced players. He has courageously set and followed his own path with vision and focus.