Friday 13 July 2012

Artiste of the time:Esther Wahome from Kenya

Artiste of the time: Esther Wahome from Kenya
Courtesy of Ghafla Entertainment news and lyn Omuronji

First there was the “Furahia” wind that came in 2002. This had all eyes on the already well-known songster Esther Wahome, and thus further elevated her to the limelight, at least in the gospel scene. But it was the unprecedented response from fans following the release of the massive “Kuna Dawa” anthem (a Swahili adaptation of the Kikuyu song Ni kuri dawa), that saw Esther's fame rise to super-stardom.

She is one of a kind – a Kenyan gospel artist, who is a household name with fame that traverses the “local gospel” enthusiasts. Esther Wahome is not only riding high in gospel music, she has a cultic fan-base in both the secular and international circles – a status that many secular artistes only dream about. But where did it all begin?

Esther knew that her vocation would really be to praise God through song. Her father, William Wahome, is a hobby musician and was her first inspiration. He plays most of the instruments in a band. It is through him that she got interested in music, first as a hobby, and later as a career.

She was discovered singing in a church in Nyeri by a local TV Producer. The Kenya Broadcasting Television producer was so impressed by Esther's singing that he arranged to have her appear on the Sing and Shine TV gospel music programme. After completing her O level's at Pangani Girls High School in Nairobi, she embarked on recording her first album, and aimed to follow the footsteps of her musical role model, Rebecca Malope. Her debut album was a success and to date, she has eight charts bursting albums under her belt.

A significant catapult for her was when she became the first Kenyan singer to have her song ‘Furahia' featured on an international compilation CD, ‘stars of Afro-pop', by A.R.C music. This positioned Esther alongside renowned African singers: Cameroonian veteran Manu Dibango , Senegal 's Youssou N'Dour, and the Belgium-based Congolese all-female group Zap Mama.

Most of the other artistes featured on this compilation CD had made their careers working overseas, where they enjoyed the use of state-of-the-art studios, under professional supervision. It was only Esther who joined this music elite with a recording done on the continent.

Also significant in the path of her career, Esther has shared the platform with famous gospel singers in UK like Noel Richards, Ken Reley and Why Friday Band, in big concerts in New Castle. She has participated, and performed in big charity concerts in Kenya and abroad to raise fund.
Regarding music and Buusiness, she minces no words,`` I still do gospel as a calling, but I believe that if there is money to be made I`m entitled to my share``. This premise has elevated her to an enviable financial status amongst her.
Peers. She maintains simplicity in her dealings though the celebrity status has called her to set up administration and management systems to ensure that the processes of her music career run smoothly.

Esther is currently doing well in all fronts of her life - musically, family-wise, business-wise, and in Christian life. She aspires to live a balanced life without flaunting the airs with status. She describes a beautiful woman as one who is internally pure, integral and appealing to God. She possesses that and much more. The 32-year-old Gospel diva's beauty is summed up in “slim, tall and glamorous woman, the kind any modeling agency or film company would have rushed to sign.”

She almost has it all, from an onlookers perspective. Nonetheless, she desires and hopes for the very best. She believes that there's still a lot more to discover about herself, music ministry and God, and “therefore life is only beginning for her.”

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