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Why Kenyans Dance to Gospel Music in Night Clubs

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Esther Wahome performs in U.S   -Pic/Files Esther Wahome performs in U.S -Pic/Files

Esther Wahome song Kuna Dawa has dominated the night clubs since Esther produced this song. As Kenya drone their favorite drink Tusker beer and enjoy the music, it is becomes evidently clear that gospel music is not only growing fast but that it is entering places never imagined before. Love Ballards, hip-hop and reggae that were notorious associated with night clubs have fully been replaced with gospel music.

On one hand, those who play the gospel music in clubs say that today it sounds almost similar to secular music from the way it is produced.  It is fast, easier to dance to and the lyrics easier to follow. The youth who are the greatest followers of gospel music give various reasons for their love for the music. Levi Waswa says that  it is not as slow as it used to be, it is fast just like secular music, easier to dance to as it has danceable beats. Karen Vera says that she loves it when gospel music is played in clubs because the musicians behind the music are willing to come and perform live, they dress in a trendy and fashionable way hence blend in easily.

On whether this has made other generics like love songs unpopular, Paul Riungu says, "Gospel music is slowly overtaking love songs." The theme for most gospel song is love, and love like religion is easier to identify with and assimilate to. Adam Wasaka says that most people do not have a problem listening to gospel music unlike the choices one has to make with secular music, whether to go for reggae, rock, hip-hop or Rhythm and blues.

Gospel music is bigger than it was a decade ago and like secular music it is being broken sown into people’s different favourites. "Kuna Dawa of Esther Wahome is slowly dying down," Gertrude Mayama says, "But artists like Jimmie Gait with Furi Furi dance are coming up." She says she particularly likes all of Kambua’s songs. Dennis Muthee says he cannot be separated with Daddy Owen’s music especially Mbona and Dakika Tatu. Terry Kaigwa says that she has always been in love with the group MOG, first with the song ‘go let him go’ and now ‘Pick my call.’

On whether gospel singers should hold concerts in clubs, Drake Guyana says, “Yes they should.”  He adds that at the end of the day, they are preaching the gospel which is a good thing. “They also would get to make a lot of money during the concerts and money is money no matter where it is made.”  Lucida Keya says, “No. Light and darkness can never mix; they should stick to churches, church conferences and crusades, which is where they belong.”  Lisa Muthoni agrees with Lucida saying, “No. They would need to define whether they are doing it for money or singing for God.  If it is for money, then they should not call themselves gospel artists, but if it is for God, then night clubs is not the way to go.”

Karis Njuguna on whether persons who like these songs in club buy the artists songs says, “The music is enjoyed even at home and is bought in bulk.  Unfortunately, most of the music purchased is pirated and the artists don’t seem to benefit much though it makes them more popular.”

The question of whether it is appropriate to play these songs in clubs, Robert Nderitu says, “It depends. If it is for entertainment, then it is fine. If it is to preach and try to convert souls then no.” He further says that it is difficult to get to a drunkard whose aim is to entertain himself and make merry to covert.  Music meant to reach souls should not be played in clubs for it loses the purpose it was made for. 

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