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I was almost shot dead- Willie Oeba reveals ahead of ‘Dear God’ album launch

 "I almost died because of mistaken identity. But they did not kill me, they killed the fear in me." Photo: Courtesy.

Award-winning Nakuru spoken word artist Willie Oeba has spoken out on almost getting shot by a police officer over mistaken identity. Speaking to KTN’s Brian Aseli on Morning Express, Oeba revealed that because of his dreadlocks, the cop assumed he was part of a gang notorious for fleecing unsuspecting Kenyans. But for Oeba, the run-in with the armed police officer bred his conviction to create content agitating for social justice.  

“During my mother’s birthday on January 21, 2017, I boarded a matatu headed for Nakuru town. At the time, I had baby locks and coincidentally, members of a notorious gang known as Confirm were also known to rock dreadlocks. The gang would swindle money from Kenyans by posing as distressed callers who’d sent money to the wrong number. Unknown to me, a police officer was also on board the vehicle and he suspected me of being a member of the gang as I was also carrying a power bank and two phones. When we alighted, he pointed his gun at my head and fracas ensued. I almost died because of mistaken identity. But they did not kill me, they killed the fear in me,” he said.

On whether he’s afraid of being arrested over his socially conscious messages, Oeba said, “I’m not scared, where will you take a king after arresting him?

READ ALSO: Tunaogopa Miguna kushinda corona- Willie Oeba in hardhitting ‘Mr President’

Dear God album

The former Safaricom BLAZE BYOB Nakuru winner also opened up on his upcoming sophomore album titled Dear God. According to the East Africa Spoken Word 2018 competition champion, the album is a series of letters addressed to different people including his mother, late father, the president and his deputy.

“I'm writing letters to specific people and they are about the truth on what’s going through my mind. I started the writing process on April 3 but I had already premeditated on the pieces. The album will compose of 13 tracks; two musical tracks and spoken word pieces. But they are not pieces I’d want to perform at an event, so it's for posterity and from a point of expression. These are the things I wanted to say for the longest time but I didnt know how to,” he divulged.

ISM album

Speaking on his debut album ISM which dropped in 2019, Oeba said that his home city of Nakuru was the inspiration.

“On the album cover art, I'm sitting on top of Nakuru. I created the album with my city in mind; it's based on real-life experiences.”

Meeting King Kaka

 Oeba earned himself a famous fan, Kaka Empire’s King Kaka. Photo: Courtesy.

Through his spoken word exploits, Oeba earned himself a famous fan, Kaka Empire’s King Kaka who described the Moi University alumni as his “favourite poet.” Recounting how he met his idol, Oeba revealed that King Kaka refused to exchange contacts when they first met.

READ ALSO: King Kaka's 'favourite poet' Willie Oeba takes on Ruto in ‘Dear Mr Deputy President’

“I have been looking up to King Kaka for the longest time, from the period he was referred to as Kaka Sungura. We first met at BLAZE BYOB and I resolved to be like him or even greater. As he was getting off stage after performing, I tapped him on the shoulder and said hi. He applauded me for my performance and said he'd look for me when he needed me and that I should not call him before then. When Wajinga Nyinyi dropped, he hit me up.”

According to Oeba, “My intention is not to change the world but inspire the mind that will change the world.”

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