People use scandals to pull me down even when I live a holy life: gospel artiste Sammy Irungu
When celebrated Mt Kenya gospel musician Sammy Irungu touches a song or belts out a tune, it will likely become a great hit in the region.
And this, coupled with his huge following on social media, makes him popular with vernacular media stations competing to play his songs, host him and have his voice on air leading in their praise and worship programmes.
But, as popular as he is for his talent, his name also gets dragged down with scandals and bad press.
This shows that living a holy and anointed life is hard as people find ways to pull you down, Mr Irungu argues, saying he knows this only too well.
The musician has been widely criticised for being a social animal, arrogant, proud and condescending. The sentiments came out more strongly in 2019 when his audio dismissing Sh30,000 pay for a live performance got tongues wagging. He had said the pay was too low, and was only enough to buy a samosa.
However, there are those who see him as a humble, down-to-earth, generous and compassionate man.
“It depends on what you want to believe. I have my buddies and I have my detractors. Both are my public,” he says.
Mr Irungu seems to be embroiled in many online scandals, with the latest being talk in the Mt Kenya music industry criticising him for not living a holy life.
Last year, his naughty photos and videos were leaked online and he became the talk of town.
He has, however, recently released a new song titled Maguta Marí Thína (anointment comes with trouble), in which he seems to explain the latest scandals and defend himself.
In the song, Mr Irungu says that his musical talent has come with a share of stress, tribulations and upheavals “to a point I sometimes cry and mourn.”
He likens himself with the Biblical David who faced lots of tribulations after he killed the mighty Goliath.
“David’s friends deserted him to a point King Saul attempted to spear him to death,” he croons.
“David thought that he was through the hard bit of his life in his breakthrough...but even his children isolated him and his own son started going to sleep with his wives just to spite him.
“When I thought I had struck my breakthrough in music, conspiracies started flowing my way in torrents...the devil is always after me.”
Mr Irungu likens what he goes through with what David faced in schemes designed by Saul.
The musician blames unnamed forces of laying numerous traps for him to destroy him.
“But God, arise and fight for me...for us...those you have anointed...so that we can manoeuvre through all the traps laid down for me...for us,” he sings.
Born on January 10, 1983 in Nakuru County's Olenguruone village, the 1992 tribal clashes displaced his family and they fled to Nairobi, settling in the Korogocho slums.
He says that “we returned to Nakuru County in 1998 where the then retired President Daniel Moi gave them land.”
“In the upheavals of life, I only managed to school up to class eight and commenced hustling for survival in odd jobs,” Mr Irungu narrates.
All along, it was clear that he had an inborn musical talent and the moment he hit the studio in 2008, he became a hit, and he witnessed a tremendous growth in the gospel industry.
“That is the anointment giving me trouble...all sorts of trouble. But I remain unbowed, will soldier on and remain focused on achieving my ultimate goal of personal development and strengthening of my faith to remain in the good books of my creator,” he says.
Mr Irungu married in 2010 and the couple has two sons and a daughter. He asked his detractors to keep off his family even as they ‘attack’ him. “Some of the things people say and write about might amount to nought as far as I am concerned, but spare my family the nonsense,” he adds.
The artiste says that he began 2023 with optimism. “We are going to be more reliant on God’s grace more than anything else and we shall embrace the culture of being good to ourselves and our neighbours.”
That way, he said, “the world would become a big village of friends who would strive not to hurt each other both physically and emotionally.”
The crooner added that his single desire is to live his faith despite the challenges.
Mr Irungu has several gospel songs including, Múheani, Ndúkanjethe, Kírathimo Gíakwa, Ngúkúhe Ngoro, Ríría Agagúcerera, Ngita ya Daudi, Maithori, and Ciira Wakwa.
Others are Ndí Wíra wa Moko Maku, Ndútíagíra Andú Maúthí, Njíra Ciaku, Kíoneki kía Jakubu and Níwíkíte Magegania.
Do you have feedback on this article? Please e-mail: [email protected]