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We left the classroom for gospel music, the Mwauras

By PAUL KARIUKI | Published Wed, January 11th 2017 at 00:00, Updated January 10th 2017 at 22:06 GMT +3
The Mwauras

I can say we unofficially launched our gospel ministry during our wedding day in November of 1988.

I had met my wife Lydia during our student days at the Kenya Technical Trainers College (KTTC) and ours was love at first sight. We were further drawn by our love for singing and were active members of the college’s Christian Union and were also involved in worship and praise activities as well.

On our wedding day, we requested to be given an opportunity to sing. My wife took the microphone and I took the guitar and we electrified the crowd belting one rendition after another.

Everybody was on their feet dancing and cheering. What a way to celebrate our union!

The news of this spread widely and it inspired us to continue singing after our wedding. Thus began our music ministry.

We started recording and releasing songs that got massive airplay in the media and this opened doors for us to perform in various functions as well as church events. We were still teachers at the time and had to do a delicate balancing act between teaching and our music ministry.

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Doors started opening to us and we started being invited abroad to perform and we saw the power of music as an evangelising tool. This was only possible due to the Kenya Christian Fellowship in America (KCFA) that really helped us connect with many friends worldwide.

This organisation has also been instrumental in making our music college here in Nakuru an international institute in the music industry.

As our ministry expanded, we had to choose between our teaching careers and concentrating on music on a full time basis. We decided to sacrifice our teaching careers and stick to what we felt was our true calling. Lydia resigned from her teaching post in 1999 and I followed suit in 2002.

In our singing heydays, our music was scriptural themed, meant to worship and glorify God while carrying messages of hope to a dying world. Sadly what we are seeing today is gospel music that seeks to entertain. We see gospel artistes seeking self-gratification more than glorifying God with their music. The songs simply have no spiritual message. Something needs to be done here.

It is partly due to this emerging trend that we opted to set up our music college in order to offer mentorship to upcoming artistes. We train not only the fundamentals of music but also the principals that encompass true worship.

We encourage pastors and other spiritual leaders to place these young gospel musicians under their wing so they can guide them. The artistes also need to be willing to be mentored and be accountable to someone.

While not everyone can sing, we all can be joyous and thankful at all times. For example, none of our three children is vocally gifted but they still take part in the worship service. Our daughter is among the best dancers in the choir while out two sons are instrumentalists in the church.

As Kenyans, let us purpose to be thankful to God at all times in whatever way we can.