Sifa Voices celebrates 15 years of singing gospel

By Caroline Nyanga

Gospel music lovers are in for a treat tomorrow when one of Africa’s popular gospel music group, Sifa Voices Kenya, founded by renowned local gospel singer Reuben Kigame take to stage.

If you love soothing and healing music then make a date with Sifa Voices at the ICC West Campus, Mombasa Road, beginning 4pm to 7pm in celebrating 15 years of success.

They are sure to get you on your feet dancing and praising along to their rich healing sounds alongside other gospel artistes.

With gate charges pegged at Sh300 for adults and Sh150 for children, fans will be treated to a blend of popular gospel tunes comprising Rumba, Zuk and traditional gospel music just to name a few.

Some of the Sifa Voices group members. [PHOTO: COURTESY]

"I want Kenyans to brace themselves for the latest and best of music from the group which I strongly believe will make a difference in their lives. Ours is also to ensure people present are ministered to the maximum besides changing their lives for the better," bandleader James Kahero told The Saturday On Standard.

The much-anticipated concert aimed at celebrating years of fame in music and ministry is something they describe as a great achievement on their part.

"We thank God that He has seen us through all the years, something that is uncommon with most groups that are known to break up a few years down the line. We therefore intend to use the opportunity to draw more people into the kingdom of God when they join us in celebrating success," says Mr Kahero.

Force to reckon with

Angeline Ngesa, one of the Nairobi based members who also operates as a solo artiste with three albums under her cap says the group’s six albums Worthy is the Lamb, Ombi Langu, Wastahili, Come with me, Praise across Kenya and Tulia still remain favourite among local fans.

She says their latest 12-track album Tulia, sang in Kiswahili and a tinge of English, is a force.

The group has been staging concerts in various parts of the country and has been busy working on their latest album, expected to be ready in February.

"For us music is a continuous journey that requires faith in God, patience, perseverance, determination and hard work in order to come up with the right product. Ours is to leave a strong legacy behind by ensuring we reach out to people of diverse communities in order to educate, encourage and change their lives for the better, contrary to the misguided notion that gospel music has lost its originality with many doing it for money," says Kahero.

Sifa Voices is not resting on its laurels yet. The group urges fans to brace themselves for more surprises in store.

"We are out to prove Kenya has what it takes to get recognised in the international music world map as far as gospel goes. We hope to use this opportunity to prove just that," says Kahero.

The group is divided into three: Sifa Voices Kenya in Nairobi led by Kahero and Eldoret group Sifa Sounds led by Kigame.

The other is Sifa Voices USA comprising mainly a section of members who migrated to the US and felt the need to keep the legacy of the group burning.

But that is not all. Locally, Sifa Voices Kenya has been busy staging concerts across the country besides recording music.

In the past years, the group members have celebrated their success annually in a low profile manner but they describe this year’s event as the biggest ever.

Apart from their life touching ministries, their songs are known to be outstanding because they experiment with unique genres that range from Rumba, afro-soul and traditional gospel.

"We were literally just pouring out praise and more praise as individuals and as a group. We also began to realise that the more we praised God, the more those who heard the songs were able to make this something of their own. It was no longer ‘our music’. It was becoming more and more the Church’s family music."

The group says praising God seemed to characterise most of their music, which seemed natural. "It was clear we wanted God to be seen as big, great, powerful, at work, in control, in a world that seemed to suggest otherwise.

It was like saying: "Praise the Lord and let the Earth hear His voice!" or, as the Psalmist put it in Psalm 97 verse 1, "Let the distant shores rejoice".

Kigame says the group’s music is unique and different in the sense that it touches on the Bible teachings besides engaging with God in every aspect.

In addition to singing, Kigame, who lives with his family in Eldoret, also plays the rhythm guitar and the keyboard.