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Meet composer behind many Catholic Church's music hits

Lifestyle
 Alfred Osonga, Director of Music at St Joseph's Catholic Church. [Ben Ahenda, Standard]

When he dances, he does it with passion and when he sings, his words are rich in deep Biblical teachings.

The father of four has sung and danced on different occasions for different congregations and for many years. In return, he has moulded many choirs and singers.

Besides producing many Christian songs that are sung in almost all Catholic Churches in Kenya, Alfred Osonga is a respected gospel music composer, singer and choirmaster in East and Central Africa.

"It has not been easy to do all this work at the same time, but it's through God's favour and hard work, dedication and the love for music that has made me reach this far," he says.

Osonga is the Director of Music at St Joseph's Catholic Church in Migori Diocese. For 34 years he has taught and sung with different church choirs.

Some of the popular songs he has recorded with St Joseph's Catholic Church Choir are Ningekuwa Na Mabawa and Mimi Ndimi Njia Ya Ukweli na Uzima, both produced in June 1994 when the current Nairobi Catholic Archbishop Phillip Anyolo was the Presiding Bishop of Migori Diocese.

 Alfred Osonga with a section of St Joseph's Catholic Church Choir. [File, Standard]

After that, Osonga produced Volumes Two, Three and Four of different songs with the same choir, a feat that earned him promotion to operate outside the diocese (Migori). He landed in Kisii at St Charles Lwanga Kisii Cathedral Catholic Choir in 1995 where he produced a number of popular songs under the title 'Bwana Ndiye Mchungaji Wangu'.

Some of his music that brought him fame were Hodi Hodi Volume R, Mimi Mabawa Volume 13 and Mimi Ndimi Njia Volume One.

"These three volumes are the ones that catapulted my work to fame in the gospel music industry," says Osonga.

While in Eldoret, he was behind the success of Mosoriot Teachers Training College, Assumption Sisters of Eldoret, Patriciah Sisters and Recruitment Training School (RTS) choirs.

"If you listen to sweet Catholic melodies in Kenya, it must have come from Migori and out of it we have trained many young people to play keyboards, read and write music and to compose new songs," he adds.

The singer says he developed an interest in music while in Sunday school back in 1988 when he was in Musoma, Tanzania.

"Having gained that experience, I moved to Tarime (Tanzania) in 1991, where I spent three years spreading the Word of God through music. Here, I also met different people who inspired me more towards the same mission before I joined Migori Church," he says.

The music teacher has produced 81 albums with 16 choirs before settling at St Joseph's Church Choir.

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