By David Odongo
“Even my father called to ask if it was true that I had passed on,” says Atieno.
But this is not the first time Atieno has brushed with death. In 1978, at the age of 17, she was diagnosed with a heart disease. Although she was generally a strong and active child, several tests showed she would not live into adulthood.
When doctors became sceptical about her chances of surviving the ailment, Atieno sought refuge in Jesus.
“I turned to prayers. I knew God created me and it was only him who could heal me,” says Atieno, Kenya’s celebrated gospel artiste.
“I prayed. I promised God that if I got healed, I would serve Him for the rest of my life. He answered my prayers. When I went for another test, there was no problem at all with my heart. Subsequent tests have shown my heart is healthy,” she says.
The then teenager got saved and started singing. In two years, she had released her first album despite many challenges including her blindness.
Thirty years have passed since then and Atieno is still going strong, inspiring millions through her songs.
Her latest album, Njooni Tumsifu, confirmed to her many fans that her magnificent voice still rings as clear as it did when they first heard it.
“I have finished writing ten songs and I am about to get into the studio anytime. Two songs are in Luo, seven in Kiswahili and one in English,” she says.