What you need to know:
- I am a singer and songwriter who loves the Lord. My music comes from everything around me.
- I honestly love it that is why I do it. This is a journey. I’m not perfect but I’m walking everyday with Christ.
- I’m not a super Christian, here to beat people up with Bible scriptures. In the end I have to be myself and represent Christ in the best way.
The beautiful talent of Cece Sagini has been serenading Kenyan music lovers for several years now.
Her recent shift to gospel has shocked many, leaving fans wondering what will become of their beloved Cece.
Boniface Nyaga sat with the singer to find out where she has been and where she is going:
We first heard you on Jimmy gait’s hit single "Appointment", what was the back story to that?
We were actually just doing a random jam session outside the Mwafaka Awards and Jimmy was in that group.
I didn’t know it at the time, but he must have spotted my talent. Later on when he was doing "Appointment" he called me in to do adlibs. I was still at USIU at the time, but I joined Sauti academy; sharpened my skills and eventually ventured into the music industry and did several successful singles.
God definitely does work in mysterious ways because I seem to have come full circle. None the less I have always been a Christian and produced music that represents my faith.
For those who may not know you how would you describe yourself?
I am a singer and songwriter who loves the Lord. My music comes from everything around me. I honestly love it that is why I do it. This is a journey.
I’m not perfect but I’m walking everyday with Christ. I’m not a super Christian, here to beat people up with Bible scriptures. In the end I have to be myself and represent Christ in the best way.
Your music was already positive and uplifting, why did you feel the need to label it as gospel?
It was a long time coming. I have always been convicted to do it this way. I maintained the status quo because it was working for me at that point in my career.
However I got to a point where it didn’t matter anymore if it worked or not. I had to follow my heart. Although my previous stuff was not vulgar it was not gospel; it was positive music but not intentionally directed towards God and the purpose He has for my life. I have always been saved but I was beginning to feel like I was sitting on the fence, that is why I have made the shift. Even the Bible says that the Lord hates lukewarm believers; if you are not hot or cold he will spit you out.
The gospel scene is increasingly becoming controversial, how do you plan to navigate this challenging sector of music?
Everyone has a story and I try not to judge because we don’t have the full story, because we just look at people from the outside.
There is a certain expectation that is placed on gospel artistes but you can’t base your life on public opinion.
For me it’s about a personal decision to serve God with the gift he has given me. I will try to be the best example but I am not here to judge others or point fingers. Some people have a perception that gospel music has more money but for me it doesn’t really matter, I’m not here for fortune or fame, just to praise His name.
The music industry is very unpredictable, you really can’t tell how people will react to change; but if you know the why behind your what, then that’s all that matters.
The gospel scene is primarily full of afro pop music but you are more of a Neosoul – afro-fusion kind of artiste, so are you going to drop your mellow vocals to fit in?
If you study my music you will realise I have always been diverse in my expression. I have done great studio jams and several live jams.
I can jump on any kind of jam as long I am feeling it. At the end of day I’ll just flow with what feels right and leave it to the people to decide.
Your YouTube channel has really exposed your personal life to the public, what was the thought behind that and how do you maintain a personal life in the public eye?
We were both already in the public eye so it wasn’t such a big shift for us. After my public proposal on national television our relationship was already in the public so there was nothing to hide.
Our goal was to share our journey of love and to inspire other young couples to build Christ driven relationships. It’s a way to share the challenges, joys and daily experiences of a typical Nairobi couple.
The idea was actually mine, I have always loved vlogs, I follow the likes of Jamie and Nikkie; they are really fun and relevant. We didn’t see anyone who was producing content that is relevant to Kenyan couples so we filled that gap.
When is the big day, do you have a date for your wedding?
Well, we will keep that private, you can’t put everything out there; we have to maintain some boundaries.
As much as we are public figures we have to consider our relatives, there are things in the African culture that you just don’t do. So don’t worry you will see the photos once it’s done.
Who is your role model?
Different people inspire me for different reasons. Locally I like Adelle because of how she pushes the girl power agenda. Internationally I love the ministry of Sarah Jakes and how she speaks into the lives of young women.
Erica Campbell formally of Mary Mary inspires me musically and Megan Good is a real icon for Godly women in entertainment.
Do you do anything else apart from music?
At some point I was working a 9-5 job before delving into music full-time. Recently my fiancé has gotten me into digital marketing and I’m really loving it and growing into it.
What’s your advice to female artistes? I have heard stories of genuine young girls being compromised and some giving sexual favours to get ahead in the music business. I thank God that has never happened to me, but my advice is stay true, nothing is worth losing yourself for, there is always another way to get to the top. For those in the gospel space let them pray and trust God, He will come through for you.
What’s next for Cece Sagini?
Expect more singles, more outreach and ministry, the long term plan is to have an album but for now just singles.
My passion is to sow confidence into young women and talk about real issues in terms of dating, celibacy and authentic Christian living.
I’m just hoping to get more opportunities to minister and make an impact. For me it’s about ministry. I want to reach out to young ladies who relate to me. People always relate to ministers who look like them because they feel like they understand them.