Gospel Singer Man Ingwe Talks Sinking into Depression after Church Collapse, Marriage and Family Struggles

January 8, 2024

Anderson Ambindi Murunga, widely known as Man Ingwe, is a celebrated musician who has recently taken a hiatus from the music scene. He opened up about his journey into depression and the impact of his frequent international travels on his church ministry.

Why Man Ingwe as your artistic name?

My first artistic name was “Ingwe” and not Man Ingwe as Rufftone would call me in our first Collabo, Yesu ni Beste.

Ingwe means Leopard, and the Leopard is the king of the jungle in my Luhya community, just as is the symbol of kingship amongst most African communities. It is for this reason that I embrace the breadth of its symbolism with my rebrand as “LEOPARD KING”.

You made headlines with ‘Ugali Sosa’. Why Ugali Sosa and how did you come up with this kind of music?

I write my music backwards or retrogressively. I identify the message I intend to pass and then find a way that relates to the common man in a day-to-day fashion.

When did your musical journey start?

I began singing at three years old. My first shot at a recording studio was in 1999 which was a terrible experience after my partner, a guy from Tanzania, ran away with all the recording materials. This dream would resurface around 2002 in campus when I did a joint project with the choir I founded in college, ‘The New Creations Choir’. I would record again another album in 2005, 2006 and finally 2008 when Yesu ni Beste and Papa Wanje got media attention. In 2009, my masterpiece Ugali Sosa changed everything and from there, I have never looked back.

Which of your songs is most dear to you?

Ugali Sosa because it’s my all-time defining song until further notice.

So is there something on the way?

Yes! By next year I’m bouncing back with a bang, I have a number that I will be releasing soon.

A lot has been happening behind the curtains; tell us about your journey into depression and recovery…

It is not too easy or just that simple to open that curtain, there was indeed a season when my centre wasn’t holding together. I had challenges in the church where I was ministering. My frequent travel out the country weakened my church leadership which later led to its collapse.

At the same time, I was facing challenges in my marriage and a strained relationship with my parents. My business was also experiencing a recession and all these put together caused me to sink into depression. I didn’t know I was depressed until I was assisted by a friend to realise what was happening around me.

Later I invested time and resources to study psychology which compounded my realisation of just how low I had sunk in my mental health. I was unproductive, couldn’t focus, and couldn’t find motivation to do anything, I felt abandoned and lonely until I began ideation of self-destructive thoughts. The support system which I had in place assisted me to navigate this rough and lonely path.

Courtesy: The Nairobian

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