Groove Award winners: Where are they now?

This year’s Groove Awards nominees include Daddy Owen, Eko Dydda, Guardian Angel, Alice Kimanzi, Evelyn Wanjiru, Mercy Masika, Kelele Takatifu and Kambua. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • If there is one gospel musician who has been consistent with chucking  hits year in year out, then its Daddy Owen, aka Papa Fololo.
  • With four albums under his belt:  “System ya Kapungala”, “Son of Man”, “Saluti” and “Haijaisha” , Daddy Owen was able to win back-to-back Groove Award titles for Male Artist from 2009 to 2011.
  • “System ya Kapungala” won him the award in 2009.
  • Got feedback on this story? E-mail [email protected]

The 12th Groove Awards ceremony will go down this Thursday at the KICC, Nairobi. This year’s nominees include Daddy Owen, Eko Dydda, Guardian Angel, Alice Kimanzi, Evelyn Wanjiru, Mercy Masika, Kelele Takatifu and Kambua. They were on a Groove tour from May 14 until last weekend, performing in different towns such as Machakos, Eldoret and Karatina. And as they approach the D-day , we take a look at previous winners, specifically artistes of the year, where they are now and what they are currently up to.

MERCY MASIKA- Artist of the Year 2008, 2016
The talented gospel musician, described by many as Kenyans’ Christina Susho, walked away with two awards in 2008 as the Artist of the Year and Female Artist of the Year. Her hit song ”Amukomete” from back in 2008 when she had just started her music career won her first-ever award. One would think that this would have catapulted her to fame, but instead, it was a “dry” eight years until 2016, when she walked away with three awards. ”Mwema” won the Skiza Ring Back Tune of the Year while “Nikupendeze” topped the Song of the Year category as she was also crowned Female Artist of the Year for the second time. This year,she has been nominated thrice: in the Song of the Year and Collabo of the Year categories with the song ”Huyu Yesu”, a collaboration with Angel Bernard as well as Female Artist of the Year, where she will battle it out against Alice Kimanzi, Kambua and Size 8 Reborn. She is currently riding high with her latest hit ”Shule Yako”, released a month ago.

Gospel singer Mercy Masika. PHOTO | COURTESY

KANJI MBUGUA - Male Artist of the Year, 2008.

Since winning the Male Artist of the Year award back in 2008, not much is known about the mellow-voiced singer’s exploits. Kanji, who is the CEO of Kijiji Entertainment Company that he founded as well as heading Kijiji Records label, seems to be preoccupied with running his business empire. His last video songs ”Mfalme Mkuu” and  ”Rauka” were released back in 2014 while in 2016 he did the audio ”Mwamba”.

DADDY OWEN - Male Artist of The Year, 2009, 2010, 2011
If there is one gospel musician who has been consistent with chucking  hits year in year out, then its Daddy Owen, aka Papa Fololo. With four albums under his belt:  “System ya Kapungala”, “Son of Man”, “Saluti” and “Haijaisha” , Daddy Owen was able to win back-to-back Groove Award titles for Male Artist from 2009 to 2011. “System ya Kapungala” won him the award in 2009. The following year, Daddy Owen went on to scoop four awards at the Groove Awards, taking  home once again Male Artist of the Year, Song of the Year that he won with the hit song ”Kiriro”, Album of the Year, Collabo of the Year and Video of the Year. Then came 2011, when once again he was crowned Male Artist of the Year for his hit song "Saluti”. Last year, he bagged six nominations for his hit song ”Vanity” but didn't win any award. However, he is still active in music.

EMMY KOSGEI - Female Artist of The Year 2010, 2012
Emmy, who is now married to Nigerian bishop Anselm Madubuko, bagged her first Groove Award in 2010  via her Kalenjin hit song ”Taunet Nelel”. Two years later,she won big carrying home three Groove awards for Album of the Year, Rift Valley Song of the Year and Female Artist of the Year for the song ”Ololo”. But since relocating to Nigeria after getting married in 2014, her musical career seems to be in slow mode.

ALICE KAMANDE - Female Artist of the Year, 2011
The gorgeous Alice Kamande, who has been busy putting out gospel music for the past five years or so, won her first Groove back in 2011, when she was crowned Female Artist of the Year for the song “Upendo Ule”. She has been producing worship songs including”Wewe Pekee” and ”Tumaini Langu”. However, they haven’t been able to win her another award yet.  Her current jam is  ”Nikupende Wewe”, released two months ago.

KEVIN BAHATI - Male Artist of the Year 2014, 2015
For the last two years, Bahati has been considered an outcast in the Awards due to numerous scandals and production of songs that the Award organisers have described as not “gospel enough”. However, three years ago he was the darling of everyone in the gospel circuit, including the Groove organisers. In a recap of those good old days, Bahati was feted Male Artist of the Year twice in a row, in 2014 and 2015. In 2014,he was crowned for his song “Machozi”  and the following year he won big with his jam ”Barua” getting him four awards, Male Artist of the Year, Video of the Year, Song of the Year and Skiza Tune of the Year. His latest song is”Nikumbushe”, featuring Bongo Flava star Rayvanny.

Kevin Bahati. PHOTO| COURTESY

WILLY PAUL - Male Artist of the Year, 2013

Since learning that he has been snubbed for the second time in a row this year at the Groove Awards, the ever- controversial Willy Pozee seems to have taken a chill pill and calmed down. It’s been a few months  since his last social media outburst. Willy Paul’s lifestyle has been criticised time and again for not matching that of a true Christian. His  latest songs have received wide criticism for being “too secular”, for example, ”I Do” and ”Tiga Wana”.However a few year ago, the ”Fanya” hit maker  Pozee was called one of the most promising youthful “true gospel artistes” when he was named Male Artist of the Year in 2013 for his hit collabo “Sitolia” with Gloria Muliro.

Safaricom boss Bob Collymore presents the Male Artiste of the Year trophy to Willy Paul during the Groove Awards at Nairobi Baptist Church on June 1, 2013. PHOTO | FILE

GLORIA MULIRO - Female Artist of the Year, 2013
Since her marriage broke up, Gloria hasn't been at her best musically. She was feted Female Artist of the Year, the same night Willy Paul took the Male Artist award for their  hit song ”Sitolia” that turned out to be some sort of national anthem. Gloria has remained active, although her latest singles in the past two years haven't been popular. Her current jam, ”Narudisha”, was released in March this year.  

 

 

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