10 artistes who have harvested big from campaign season

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto join in a jig with artist Jaguar during the launch of Jubilee Party on September 10, 2016 at Safaricom Stadium Kasarani. From gospel artistes to dance groups, entertainers seem to be reaping big from the campaign season as Kenya gears up for the August 8 General Election. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • In May 2017, the gospel crooner Ben Githae released “Uhuru na Ruto Tano Tena”, praising the government of the day that’s seeking a second term in office.
  • The song is now Jubilee’s anthem in all its political rallies. 

From gospel artistes to dance groups, entertainers seem to be reaping big from the campaign season as Kenya gears up for the August 8 General Election. Here are the 10 artistes singing all the way to the bank...or to popularity:

BEN GITHAE 
In May 2017, the gospel crooner Ben Githae released “Uhuru na Ruto Tano Tena”, praising the government of the day that’s seeking a second term in office. The song is now Jubilee’s anthem in all its political rallies. 

The song has received mixed reactions but Githae isn’t bothered, insisting that though he is a gospel musician, he is exercising his democratic right to support whoever he wishes.

PHOTO | FILE Ben Githae performs at the Groove Party event which was held at Kasarani sports grounds in Nairobi on December 31, 2013.

He has also refused to disclose how much he was paid for the track, saying: “That’s my secret, I will not say if I was paid or not,” as quoted by a showbiz blog.

Over the years, Githae has released gospel hits that include: “Timiza Maono”, “Mlianza na Roho”, “Tabia Mbaya” and “Maya Ni Mabataro”, among others.

"ENGINEER" ONYI JALAMO 

By now, you must have heard the word Tibim, as it is used at most NASA rallies. Embakasi East MP aspirant Babu Owino popularised the word ( That is also commonly used among Gor Mahia fans) and it has become a signature word, more so because of Jalamo’s popular NASA rally song “Nasa Tibim”.

Nasa Tibim” is Jalamo’s most well-known song to date. He has also released several songs in Dholuo including “Ugenya Dala”, “Hera Oloka Neko”, “Dr Evans Kidero”.

He has denied receiving any money for the NASA song. He would be rich, perhaps, if the popularity was a form of currency. 

SUZANNA OWIYO
Suzanna Owiyo has ruled the airwaves for over a decade with several hits like  “Wamiel” , “Kisumu 100”,  “Atieno  Sandore”  and “Matatu”, among others.

It is a well-known fact that Suzanna has always supported the opposition and more precisely, the ODM party. Not once nor twice but many times she has graced the party’s functions to perform. Last month, she released a song titled  “Nasa Dance”, a praise tune for the opposition party that urges Kenyans to vote for NASA. 

DENNIS MUTARA, HEZE NDUNG’U, GITHINGITHIA, NAHSHON MAINA
They are famous Kikuyu gospel musicians, most of them having released several hit jams in their vernacular, like  Mutara’s  “Tiga na andu” and Nahshon’s  “Andu Gomokai”, among others.

The group recently released the vernacular mash-up song “Nyumba ya Mumbi”, urging their fans to turn out in large numbers to vote for the current president.

RUFFTONE
He is a veteran gospel musician who has helped revolutionise the gospel industry in the country.

However, when it gets to politics, his feelings for the ruling party have been obvious. He is yet to release a song praising the Jubilee government but time and again, he has performed at their political functions.

President Uhuru Kenyatta chats with musician Roy Smith Mwatia popularly known as Rufftone at State House, Nairobi on February 8, 2017. PHOTO | PSCU

In 2016, he was present when several parties merged to form the Jubilee party. In February this year, he was among a few selected youths invited to State House to help push young people to register as voters for the coming general election. In a short clip aired by K24 TV, Rufftone is seen in a question-and-answer session with President Kenyatta and was full of praise for him. Also in attendance were the FBI dance crew, who later trended for the dab dance they did with the president.

President Uhuru Kenyatta joins FBI Dance Crew in a dance to encourage the youth to register as voters at State House, Nairobi on February 8, 2017. PHOTO | PSCU

HELLENA KEN
“Mambo Yabadilika” became a huge hit five years ago when it was released by the Annastazia Mukabwa look-alike Hellena Ken.

It is yet another popular NASA campaign song that is played in virtually every campaign rally.
Hellena has been making gospel music for over a decade now, with songs like the hit “Sitarudi” to her credit. However, “Mambo Yabadilika” remains her biggest hit to date and has seen her dine with the political class.  

KEVIN BAHATI
The scandal-prone gospel musician has been a key player for the ruling Jubilee party campaign songs.
Even though he is yet to record a song praising the current regime, Bahati has graced Jubilee functions numerous times.

In September last year, he was among gospel musicians who performed at the grand Jubilee party merger launch in Kasarani.

In April this year, Bahati landed in Nairobi’s Kayole Soweto slums in a Jubilee-branded chopper to drum up support for Embakasi East parliamentary aspirant Francis Mureithi. Since making a musical breakthrough four years ago with his single ”Mama” that crashed the airwaves, Bahati has recorded more hit jams and he is currently riding high with ”Nikumbushe”, a collaboration with bongo flava artiste Rayvanny.

MERCY MASIKA
The three-time gospel Groove Award winner has also been on the Jubilee entertainment campaign  “pay-roll”.

Last year, like Bahati, she performed at the Jubilee party merger in Kasarani.  In an interview with the Daily Nation in September 2016, Masika said she used to be a critic of gospel artistes who perform at political rallies but all that changed when she was invited to perform for the president, stating that it pays. 

“Although we appreciate what the political parties give us, it’s not enough to buy us. As a gospel artiste you can’t always be swayed by public opinion — you have to follow God’s word,” she was quoted as saying.

Kenyan gospel artiste Mercy Masika. PHOTO | FILE

Masika has been in the game for over a decade now, flourishing with hits jams such as ”Shule Yako”, ”Nikupendeze” and ”Mwema”.

SUSUMILA
When at the Coast, famous musicians Susumila and Ally B are always sought after by both Jubilee and NASA to perform at their rallies.

According to “Mapepe” hit-maker Susumila, it’s always about a pay check and he doesn’t necessarily have a political favourite. He says he cannot endorse any party as he fears losing his fan base.

“We are a political country and I am an entertainer and that’s what I’m paid for. I have performed at Jubilee, Cord, ODM, Nasa rallies,” Susumila says.

JAGUAR
The Starehe MP aspirant on the Jubilee party ticket was once a strong critic of the political class and even at one time released “Kigeugeu”, which became a hit.

He couldn’t beat them and so he joined them and will be on the ballot come August. Prior to his political move, Jaguar used to perform at Jubilee rallies, thus getting him closer to the presidency, something that led to his landing a government job as a member of the anti-drug abuse agency NACADA, from which he resigned to join politics. Currently, he performs his jams, such as “One Centimeter” and “Huu Mwaka”, at Jubilee political functions.

 

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