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Hymn books go digital as app is launched

Kenneth Kaniu (Second Right), chief executive officer of Hallelujah Languages Ltd shows John Maina, Elizabeth Maina, Wairimu Kaniu and Jackson Maina how the Hallelujah Languages mobile hymn book app works during the launch of the app at All Saints Cathedral Church in Nairobi on August 3, 2022. [James Wanzala, Standard]

You can now get your favourite hymn songs anywhere and anytime in a digital version on your smartphone.

This follows the launch of Hallelujah Languages mobile app, which enables one to access hymn songs from 12 denominations in English and Swahili and five vernacular languages.

Speaking during the launch at All Saints Cathedral Church in Nairobi, Kenneth Kaniu, chief executive officer of Hallelujah Languages Ltd, said the idea behind the app is to enable Kenyans to worship and praise using hymns on their smartphones at their convenience.

"The app digitises Christian hymns from up to 12 main denominations and allows people to access the songs from wherever at their convenience at any time of the day," said Kaniu.

Users can download the app on  Google Play Store for android phones while iPhone owners will have to wait for a bit longer, Kaniu said. One can also access the app from their social media pages, website or a link share.

He said praise and worship has now gone digital and there will be no need of buying hymn books and carrying them to church, weddings and funerals where they are commonly used.

Kaniu said the digital version is just coming to compliment the hard copy and not replace it, thus giving hymn lovers more choices.

The 12 denominations are Full Gospel Church, African Inland Churches (AIC), Catholic, Anglican, Baptist, Coptic Orthodox, Friends Church Quakers, Lutheran, Methodist, Pentecostal Churches of East Africa (PCEA), Salvation Army and Seventh Day Adventists (SDA).

"We started with the 12 but we plan to engage more church denominations and people to be able to understand what we are trying to do because basically it’s about evangelisation and trying to ensure that every Kenyan be it male, female, old or young, rural or urban are able to access these hymns at their convenience," he added.

To access the songs for all the denominations, he said the charges are Sh5 per day, Sh30 for a month, Sh90 for three months, Sh150 for six months and Sh270 per year.

"It’s accessible to everybody so long as you have a smartphone. We feel the cost is affordable for everyone and the idea is to ensure that people are able to get the songs at their convenience in the most cost-effective manner," added Kaniu.

There is also an agency model where one can sign up and whoever downloads the app using the agent code that will be assigned, you can be able to earn a commission from Sh20 per day to 100 based on the number of users who download and use the app.

The five vernacular languages covered in the app are Luhya, Kikuyu, Kisii, Kamba and Luo, with plans for more languages in the pipeline.

The idea has also come at the right time for those churches that have not gone digital in terms of acquiring screens to project the songs during the church services.