Kenyan songbird Cecilia Wairimu who is better known by her stage name Amani recently announced that she had turned over a new life.
The veteran pop singer is one of the latest Kenyan female singers to have made the switch from secular to gospel in what has become a familiar trend in the industry.
After a successful journey as a secular artiste, Amani is on a new path and says she does not miss anything from her past life.
She opened up about her new life and plans.
What called you to Christ?
I just got tired and it is something that I had been thinking about for a very long time. The whole thing – going for shows, getting home late – started overwhelming me and I started questioning myself; if I was truly happy as a secular artiste.
When it comes to music, at what point of your life were you really happy?
It was back when I was doing gospel. I decided to renew my relationship with my God but it became very tricky. Here you are, seeking a new path but still in the limelight. Interestingly, even as a secular artiste, I wouldn’t start my shows without saying a prayer. That was a routine I had mastered too well.
Who was the first person you told of your decision?
It was my mum. She was so happy for me …she was like “Don’t worry; we will walk the journey with you”. She has been a great support system for me.
Is that the reason you decided to go under? It’s been three years!
Partly, yes. I started thinking about it in 2011 but still continued doing secular music. Three years ago, I decided to call it quits. I even enrolled in a Bible School because I really yearned for a deep relationship with God.
Away from music, I have been enjoying my life as a business woman. I have a hair brand – Diva Luxury – which specialises in crotchet hair extensions. I am very passionate about the African woman’s hair.
Are you happy now?
Yes, much, much happier. For a long time, I felt like I had been put in a box but now I feel free. Since I got born again, I can’t even start explaining to you how peaceful and grounded my life has become.
What are your plans? Do you intend to start writing/singing gospel songs and how long do we have to wait?
Yes! But I can’t really tell how long it will take. It is one of those things that I want to go about as led by the Holy Spirit.
Are there things that you miss from the secular world?
I miss nothing… absolutely nothing!
Not even the songs you used to write, the pomp, the flair, the places you used to tour?
Trust me, I will see a gig invite and as long as it is secular, I say, thank you God! Because I know what it is all about. I have been there and I don’t miss the life at all.
As a pastor’s daughter, why do you think their kids turn wayward?
I wouldn’t call it wayward. But when you are being forced to conform to something that you don’t really understand, you will try to exert yourself – your personality.
And in my perspective, the solution to that – as much as one is under the umbrella of being a pastor’s child – is they need to be encouraged to pursue a personal relationship with God as opposed to it being a routine.
Away from music, it was only after booking an appointment with you that I looked you up… you got married!
Yes, I did – last year. I am very secretive and that was intentional. After being in the limelight for too long, I felt that there are some things I needed to keep to myself especially those that are dear to me.
When you make your marriage public, there are families involved – his family and my family, I don’t want to put them out there. That’s just me though!
Is your husband born again?
What are you struggling with right now?
Mmmmh… I don’t know… I got to think. I have learnt not to worry.
What is your favourite song to belt in the shower or when driving?
Israel Houghton’s “It’s not over until God says it’s over”. I also love “Tambarare” by Kenyan artiste Eunice Njeri.
Which gospel artiste are you eyeing to ‘collabo’ with?
To be honest, I haven’t thought about it. However, Eunice Njeri is my favourite gospel artiste.
Which truth would you say you’ve held throughout your music career?
Be driven by passion and love what you do so that you don’t need someone to push you to work.
If we lived in Biblical times, who would your ideal man be?
That has to be Boaz! I know women say this all the time; it’s such a romantic story. That guy was a real gentleman.
What do you expect most from the gospel sphere?
To stay true to the gospel.
Are you going to change your stage name “Amani”?
No, that stays. It means peace.