David Oyuke is a Hot96FM ‘Hot Breakfast’ host and producer. He is also one of the founding spoken word poets in Kenya.
He spoke to eDaily and divulged on his journey in radio, music, poetry and marriage.
Here’s his story:
You are a radio host on Hot96 FM. Are there more titles to your name?
Before becoming a radio host, I was and still am a writer, a poet, a hip hop artiste, a husband (laughs)…
All the titles reflect to the same person that I am – with me; what you hear, what you see is really what you get. I believe in authenticity to the core. I am a gospel hip hop artiste.
How do you balance all these responsibilities?
Everything revolves really around my faith to be honest. I got serious with my faith in 2011. Before that, ‘Christianity’ was – to me – a word like any other; and just a religious identity.
However, after getting saved, I realised my faith dictates everything. Even as I was joining Hot96 FM, they knew that about me. Prior to joining Hot96 FM, I was the head of a Christian radio station.
People have tried to tempt me to loosen on my faith going by the radio station I am employed at, but it’s not really necessary. You can be saved but cool.
What inspired your shift in faith?
(Laughs). This one is going to be controversial, but I have no shame about it.
In 2011, I was involved with some lady. And, in the middle of doing some things, God spoke to me. He called me by name, and said: ‘David, David you know what I called you for. This is not what I created you to be’. I told the lady: ‘let’s end all this’.
Funny enough, that was the last time I ever kissed a woman until I got married four years later. And the woman who is my wife right now – ever since I got saved in 2011 – got the first kiss from me on our wedding day (2015).
In 2011 I heard God speak to me as audibly as I would a crony’s narration. It’s been five years, and I am growing stronger in faith.
What are some of the challenges you have come across in leading a Christian life?
First things first, anybody who says that if you become a believer you are going to have it easy, that is the biggest lie you will ever get.
It’s not an easy life because everything in this world is contrary to this way of life. You’ll find challenges of all sorts – people not understanding you. Friends deserting you – but to me it wasn’t that really crazy because if someone is a genuine friend, he or she will stay in your life.
The people who I relate with the most are believers; but I do not seclude myself. Some people even refer to me as old-skool – which is alright.
At the end of the day, if you get salvation because of what people think, then the same thoughts of people that brought you in will actually get you out.
Tell us about your childhood, family and education.
There is a number in my life that is very consistent – that is number seven. I was born on July 7; I am the seventh child in a family of seven; I was born at 1pm.
My favourite number was always seven even before I found out all these things. I attended Makini Primary School and Highway School for secondary education.
I later joined Daystar University for a bachelor’s degree in Communication. I grew up in and around Lavington and Kileleshwa.
When did you start singing?
When I was little, my family relocated to Fedha estate in Eastlands, Nairobi. When I was staying there I learnt how to rap.
When Wapi was beginning with the likes of Buddha Blaze and Muki Garang I was one of the crew. Around 2003, I met Producer Kevin Provoke. We ended up recording Ukoo Flani Maumau; I used to work with them too.
We had a studio situated at Fedha estate that we would use to record our songs. All these happened around 13 years ago. I actually introduced Dela Maranga to music for the first time.
When compared to other genres like Kapuka and Genge, Hip Hop doesn’t have a large following in Kenya. Why did you opt for it?
The perspective of being a poet played a big role in structuring my gravitation toward hip hop. Hip hop has a poetic environment around it. Only Neo Soul music comes second to it.
For me, music has never been about the fame or what is bestselling. Hip hop has been the avenue to communicate the heart of a people. I was so much engrossed in the genre to the extent that I was lecturing hip hop at Daystar University. That is more important than the beats or being relevant in a certain genre.
People often believe that hip hop cannot be used to glorify God. I believe that is false; as a believer, the devil has no capacity to create anything – including genres.
You have a song dubbed Nai-City in the offing. What should we expect from it?
The song’s title is the short form for Nairobi City. It is the perspective of what Nairobi really is; especially from my perspective. The art work for the single itself has someone sitting at the top of a building in the CBD with his feet dangling – so it gives you the perspective that the person’s overlooking the city, but what does he see?
As a believer I tackle a lot of things in it. The song has ragged old-skool hip hop feel and it is not your typical type of song because it’s very descriptive; it carries a lot of stories. But it shows my perspective of Nairobi – from pastors who we often hear their sagas, to just the culture of casual sex and a generation that is very averse to governance and politics.
I put it in about a 3’40” song. It took me a day-and-a-half to craft and put the song together. The video will come out soon.
Interesting. What has marriage taught you?
If you don’t know how to forgive, how to practice patience, how to practice love and sacrifice – then you need to go back and pray before you get married.
Marriage is holy. Nothing holy can be entered into haphazardly. I have been learning a lot of humility as a man; it’s not easy to lead a home.
I get to learn my best friend; she is an amazing person; she is also a poet and a musician. She loves me, she respects me. It’s not easy to love and respect in a world that’s broken; and has people who are broken. I have been learning a lot about God.
How do you handle disagreements in marriage?
First, I’ll say we live in a generation where people are walking on glass – no one wants to take any correction.
One thing that I am thankful about my wife is she is very open and if you are an insecure man, you cannot handle my wife because she’ll look at you and she knows what God has said about you and she will martial you to that part – even if it is painful.
Men should stop being afraid of women who are bold. Arguments will always be there. Conflict is the price to pay for intimacy. That is what my wife tells me all the time.
Tell us about your song featuring Kambua that is in the offing.
It’s true; I am working something with Kambua. That is something to look out for. Saint P is going to be on the production of that song. I am looking forward to seeing how that is going to go.
Besides the song, I am also working on my second book – it’s about politics and governance. I believe it’s high time young people start thinking as the leaders of right now; not just leaders of next week because the same leaders of next week will get to that place and they won’t have the capacity to rule when their next week has become today.