SECTIONS

I will not quit Ohangla, says singer turned MCA

Ohangla artiste Gordon Onguru.

Ohangla artiste Gordon Onguru is not about to quit singing despite being elected East Asembo ward rep.

Onguru, 33, popularly known by his stage name Jathum Sultan Agodi, started his music career in 2015.

“I will never quit music, I was born an entertainer and I will do it forever. I thank God. Most of my supporters knew me through my music. I became famous not only because of my oratory skills but also music,” he said.

He has delegated his role as a band leader of Nyathomo Ohangla band to his co-singer Jack Wuod Akala.

“My band has eight members. I am now their patron but I have delegated the role of the band leader since I will not be available full-time,” he said.

As one of the celebrated Ohangla artistes in Nyanza, it will be interesting to see how Onguru will balance his roles as entertainer and MCA.

He joined politics in 2007 when he campaigned for former Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo.

In 2013, he was the chief campaigner for the first MCA for East Asembo Owiti Angul. He also campaigned for his predecessor Judith Oyugi.

Onguru said he loves politics but never imagined he would be elected MCA on his first attempt.

“I joined politics passively after high school in 2007 and was campaigning for former Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo. I developed more interest in politics in 2012 when my cousin Mr Angul was contesting. Being a good orator, I was chosen by my clan Kamalumbe to be the chief campaigner,” he said.

He would later join hands with his cousin’s competitor Joshua Adhola, who later died in a road accident. A song he dedicated to Adhola dubbed “Patel Adhola” is one of his greatest hits.

“After feeling left out of the administration of my cousin in 2014 I joined hands with his  opponent the late Adhola whom I supported until August 9, 2015. We got involved in a road accident which claimed his life. After the death of my friend Adhola, I endorsed his wife, who is my predecessor,” he adds.

He reaped big during campaigns, not just financial gain but he also gained popularity, which boosted his political bid.

Onguru rode high with his songs that mostly praised Azimio leader Raila Odinga and other politicians from the region.

He started composing Ohangla tunes in 2015, coming up with his first hit song ‘Patel Adhola’, a song about his journey with his friend until his death.

He other songs are ‘Betty Nyahero’, ‘Nyasaye ni Koda’ and ‘Inie Kende”.

Onguru decided to vie for East Asembo ward seat in September 2021

He holds a diploma in Community Development from Kisumu Institute of Management.

He encouraged the youth to grab opportunities which come to them, saying no man is limited.

He said the county and national governments had failed to enact favourable laws to develop the music industry.

“Piracy is making artistes not enjoy their sweat,” he said.

“And the entities paying artistes royalties are the ones enjoying the proceeds while most artistes are languishing in poverty. Most musicians depend stage performances to earn a living. I will use this opportunity as an MCA to push for Bills in the county assembly to help in nurturing talents,” he said.

Onguru was elected on a UDM ticket in a predominantly ODM region. He is the only UDM ward rep at the county assembly.

“This is my opportunity to advocate for better laws which will propel the music industry to greater heights and also help nurture talents,” he said.

Maxwell Opiyo, one of Onguru’s fans, told The Standard that he hopes the artiste will use the platform he has at the county assembly to push for a space for creative arts.

“He should push for policies that can promote music and arts,” said Opiyo.