Ruto’s change in fortunes through Reuben Kigame’s ‘Huniachi’ song

Story behind Ruto's favourite song ‘Huniachi’

One song makes President William Ruto take to his feet. The charm of its chorus, the voices in it and the sting of its message never fail to catch Dr Ruto.

The title of the gospel song is “Huniachi” (You Never Desert Me), and it is done by Reuben Kigame alongside Sifa Voices and Gloria Muliro.

Dr Ruto ordered the tune to be played to mark the crossing into 2023. 

He sang along when it played during a service at State House on September 25. 

During a National Youth Service event early this month, Dr Ruto joined a group of graduates doing a rendition of the song.

“He was brought up in a strong Christian background and has never shied from his faith. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that he is able to sing along to popular gospel songs. He does so effortlessly,” Mr Wanjohi Githae, a director for public communications at State House, told the Saturday Nation.

Interestingly, the moments Dr Ruto has been captured singing along somehow tell the story of his rise from a sidelined figure in government to the man running the show.

One clip immortalised online was from May 26, 2022, during a national prayer breakfast. 

Then, he was a maligned man in the power play of the “Handshake” government. Cameras caught him singing along the chorus nonchalantly and tapping the table feebly.

In the times he has sung along after becoming president, he has been a beaming Ruto. 

When he joined NYS personnel as they performed it on March 3, he even pulled some moves.

The other interesting reality is that the lead composer and pianist of the song is Mr Kigame, who was gunning for the presidency last year but failed to make it to the ballot.

Even after the election, Mr Kigame has been critical of some of Dr Ruto’s moves, a case in point being in September when he accused the government of overdoing religion with the prayer functions.

“While we acknowledge the hand of God in bringing us this far, the presidency must observe Article 27 of the Constitution,” Mr Kigame tweeted. 

The article he mentioned insulates Kenyans against any form of discrimination by the government, regardless of their religion, sex, health status, among other qualities.

Yesterday, Mr Kigame did not immediately respond to our request to comment on the fact that his song is one of Dr Ruto’s favourites, if not the most liked.

Released in 2017, the tune “Huniachi” was crowned the praise and worship song of the year during the 2018 edition of Groove Awards. 

It has amassed 18.5 million views on YouTube and, going by the comments, will be a favourite for many Kenyans for years to come.

According to music producer Alexis on the Beat, the song is a hit due to its structure.

“It is the simplicity of the song that propels it. The chorus is also repetitive,” he told the Saturday Nation. 

“Then message resonates with many people – that God is with them despite everything.”

He added that from an artiste’s point of view, the song is repetitive and catchy. 

“It doesn’t have too much stuff. You know, most artistes overdo,” he said. 

“You have to be simple and straight to the point.”

Its chorus, as translated by the composers, says: “You promised, O Lord; you’ll never leave me/ Until the end of the age you said you’ll never leave me/ You are a faithful God all the time/ I put my faith in you my father.”

Mr Kigame did the keyboard track for the song while the saxophones were handled by Chris Sekitoleko, Tim Riungu, Koki and Sammy Wamukota. 

Roland Isese and Eugene Masupo were the lead guitarists. 

The video of the song that is available on YouTube is from a live performance that Mr Kigame, Ms Muliro and Sifa Voices had at Citam Valley Road.

Pauline Gichuki commented on YouTube last year: “This song has been my support system. I play it non-stop. When it seems lost – like God has forgotten me – this song reminds me of His promise of never leave.”