Last year sprung quite some surprises with regards to gospel music in Kenya. From Jimmy Gait’s ‘Yesu Ndie Sponsor,‘ Willy Paul’s ‘Tiga Wana’ and most shocking of all ‘Yesu Nipe Nyonyo’ by Fred Keraro alias SBJ.
While Jimmy Gait and Willy Paul have since defended their songs, it is now SBJ’s turn to try and convince Kenyans that his song was not inappropriate.
In an interview with Pulse, SBJ claims the song was simply misunderstood by Kenyans.
This is his story:
P: You have released a number of songs recently and some are speculating that you used the infamous Nyonyo to get some attention…
SBJ: On the contrary. Yes I have recently released Repent, Usikate Tamaa and Ninavyokujua but I have been a gospel artiste since 2006 or 2007 thereabouts.
P: That’s a long time to remain under the radar?
SBJ: I am more into evangelism. I am an evangelist and I spend a lot of time reaching out to souls in high schools and campuses. That’s why I seem to be unknown to many.
P: So there was no cheekiness involved in Nyonyo getting airplay and causing countrywide ripples, the same time you were releasing these new material?
SBJ: None at all. I released Nyonyo in November 2013. I never pushed it, just uploaded on YouTube and that was that.
But it was after Dr King’ori played it on his comedy show on a local TV station that the hullabaloo started. I am still surprised by the response though.
P: Why is that?
SBJ: Because I released that song in my church and it was played so many times and no one made a scene about it. In fact, my spiritual fathers kept encouraging me.
P: But with lyrics like ‘Eh Baba nipe nyonyo, Kwa Yesu niko tayari’ and ‘wengine walikamua wakatosheka wakatoroka’, what did you really expect? What inspired you, actually?
SBJ: Some people understand the song and they are OK with it. The song was inspired by a mother I saw kwa mtaa (in the neighbourhood), suckling her baby who had been crying and when the baby was well-fed, he walked away happy.
Also, 1st Peter 2:2 talks about milk. A child knows mum is the source of milk and I believe God is the source of our spiritual nourishment.
He has saved me from booze, clubbing and bhang and that why I will forever praise him. I get inspired by things around me.
P: Then why did you apologize over the lyrics in the song?
SBJ: I apologized to those who misunderstood the song. Some people accepted it and are OK with it.
P: People in this country, more so gospel fans, have a problem with the way gospel artistes carry themselves and the context and lyrics of the songs they sing. What do you think is the problem?
SBJ: Many artistes out here are off the word. They are out to look for fame. They are clueless about what the world needs and how to attract our fans to the word. People need to sit and write word. Encourage and bring many to the kingdom.
P: Like what you do?
P: Since Nyonyo has brought you out, what are you planning?
SBJ: This year will be a good year and we are in the process of dropping a few more hits very soon. Much more is coming.
P: So, finally, who is Fred Keraro?
SBJ: Fred is an evangelist, married and with three children. I am a logistics expert with a global firm that I would not want to mention here.
SBJ, on the other hand, is a gospel artiste who is inspired by what he sees out here, and sometimes, like in the case of Nyonyo, will sing using what I call Baby Language- language that an old granny can understand the same way my last born kid will.
Source: Pulse Magazine