Peace Mulu on a mission to heal souls
By Caroline Nyanga
Gospel singer Peace Mulu continues to inspire many in her 14-year music career.
A pastor with more than 12 albums under her cap, the Ombea Adui Yako and Ninayo Sababu singer has just released her latest album, Bwana Amenipigania.
According to her, the ten-track album, released late last year, aims to educate, encourage and minister to people.
"My songs are based on life struggles. They urge people to soldier on no matter how difficult things are," she says.
The singer says the secret of her music lies in proper planning before releasing a song.
"This allows me to minister in my songs hence reaching out to many lost sheep out there," she adds.
Mulu says that unlike most musicians whose songs excite people emotionally — just like her role model pioneer gospel artiste Mary Atieno — she has maintained her style of Bible-oriented music and aims at touching souls with lasting messages.
Her music has seen her tour Africa and beyond. With albums like Ombea Adui Yako, Kesho Sio Yangu, Maundu Me Vinya, Tunga Muvea Yesu Evakuvi (Jesus is closer to the born again), Isyitwa ya tesu, Kule Nyikani and Muvango wa Muuo among others, she says she is determined to churn out more songs to encourage people to seek God’s favour.
But what does she think about the local gospel generation now accused of diluting music by releasing less influential messages?
Without mincing words, she admits gospel has evolved over the years.
"I am not in a position to pass judgment but it’s high time we realised we are serving a living God. Therefore, as role models, it is important to be true to ourselves and others.
What inspires her songs?
Mulu’s songs are based on personal experiences.
For instance, Ombea Adui Yako and Ninayo Sababu were released upon her recovery from tuberculosis after two years. The disease almost sent her to an early grave, she says.
"Between 1995 and 1996, I lived in a single room with my sister in Huruma estate, Nairobi. We had nothing apart from a small mattress, a stove and a few utensils," she recalls.
She also recalls being shunned by those who insinuated she suffered from a terminal disease.
To make matters worse, even after medical check-ups for nine months, she says it became evident she had minimal chances of survival, according to doctors.
She says: "At some point, a doctor told me there were severe damages to my lungs as a result of TB. He told me I could not survive beyond a week."
But despite this, Mulu did not lose hope.
"Being a woman of faith, I had a choice of either believing the doctor’s word or God’s, which says I shall not die but live to tell what he has done to me in Psalms 118-17," says the singer.
She eventually recovered and the doctors could not believe it.
"I continued praising God as I sweated all through the night as a result of a burning sensation through my body," she says.
Since then, Mulu says she hardly falls sick. She composed Ninayo Sababu ya Kumtukuza Bwana, soon after her recovery, Ombea Adui Yako followed shortly.
Mulu has a close working relationship with politicians. For instance, during the referendum campaigns, she was contracted to do a song in favour of the draft law, Tunasema Ndio.
She has also performed during various political functions, prompting criticism.
But Mulu describes her critics as lacking ground.
"Being a servant of God and a role model, I am not in a position to choose who to be with. The same way Jesus mingled with everyone so we should because at the end, no human is perfect."
Born to Joseph Mulu Maithya, an armed forces officer and Beatrice Mumbe, a housewife, in Gai village, Kyuso District in Mwingi, the singer recalls going through a tough childhood.
"Life was not easy and we had to work hard to survive," she says.
The musician, who was nominated for Best Traditional Kamba Artiste during the 2010 Groove Awards, is married to James Mulei.
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