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|Monday, 08 August 2011 11:28|
Kambua Manundu is an accomplished gospel singer and TV presenter. In this interview with Tecla Ndambuki, this lady who is a role model to many young Christians tells the story of her life to date.
Tell me a bit about your background - education, training, and family.
My name is Kambua Manundu. I am the second born of three children to my father- Professor Manundu and my mother Evangelist Lois Manundu who are also the co-founders of Tabibu Ministries. I was born and raised in Nairobi. Music is both a career and ministry for me. I started singing as a young girl in the choir and various praise bands, and later had the opportunity to study music in the US -Berklee College of Music and in Canada -Ambrose University College where I recently received my BA in music.
How did you get into the music industry.
I started off by serving in Church as part of the worship team, I also sang in choir during my primary and high school days. Later on I began to do back ground vocals for various artists, such as Bahati Gatere and Mbuvi. I then landed jobs to do jingles for commercials such as Delmonte and Sunlight. It was soon after this that I began to record my own music. The first song I recorded was ‘Amani’ which I entered for a peace competition that was being by Radio Waumini together with an Italian NGO. I was awarded ‘best solo song’, and with the honorarium I received was able to pay for some of the other songs in my NISHIKILIE album.
What is your music about?
My music is about God and the hope that He gives. I sing songs of encouragement to uplift any downtrodden soul. I also sing about issues that I feel are not well addressed in our society, such as poverty.
Is your music based on your own experiences?
A lot of my music is based on personal experiences. However I have sang songs that have been written by friends, and so
I’m not limited to personal experiences. The only condition to singing a particular song is that it be God-inspired and able to minister to not only me but others.
What inspires you to sing?
God inspires me to sing. His love, His grace, His mercy...the gift of life, it all has worked together to inspire me musically.
What is the name of your latest album?
It is titled NYUMBANI. It was released in the year 2009.
How many other albums and singles so far? Any collabo?
I have one other album- NISHIKILIE. I have also done a collabo with Mbuvi- Kivevelo, and another with DNA and Isaac Kahura- Mtoto wa Sonko.
Who were your producers for your albums?
I have had the honour of working with various producers, namely Jonah Uzele, Desmond Bosire, Robert Kamanzi, and Ben Gitau. I am currently working with Patrick (Saint P), among others.
What else do you do apart from singing?
I am a TV host, but music is my main career. I’m hoping to pursue a fashion career as well, but anything I do will have to revolve around my music ministry.
How did your win in the Grooves impact on your life and career?
The 2009 Groove Awards came as a great, though very welcome surprise to my music career. I had moved back home from Canada, just a few months prior to the awards. Recording my music and working at marketing it had proven to be really tough, but I refused to give up. I am a firm believer in persistence. You have to try, try, and try, until things begin to happen for you. The Groove Awards gave me a platform bigger than I had anticipated. People got to know my
our current success that we fail to see what else God is preparing ahead for us I thank God that He allowed me to music, and I got reaffirmed that God would sustain the gift He has placed in me. I considered the awards to be a stepping stone to bigger, better, things, and that’s exactly what it was. Sometimes we can get so caught up in celebrate that victory and then keep looking and moving ahead.
What music are you listening to?
Mahalia Jackson, that woman had a lot of soul!
Who are your role models in music Industry?
I have a lot of respect for the likes of Yolanda Adams, Cece Winans, Rebecca Malope, Jonathan Butler, Bebe Winans, Kelly Price...the list is endless!
What do you think about the Kenyan Music Industry?
A lot of good things are happening in our local industry. It seems that more and more people are warming up to the fact that one can have music exclusively
How did you end up in TV?
Well, I heard that there was an audition at Citizen TV and I decided to give it a shot. You never know what you are capable of unless you try. The audition went well, but I honestly did not know what to expect at the end of it. I was later pleasantly surprised to learn that I had landed the job.
as a career. Artists are stepping out and sharing what they have musically, and the diversity is astounding. I believe there is still lots of room for growth, and even more creativity.
Did you ever think you would one day become famous?
Famous? What does that mean? Haha. Anyway...what I knew beyond any doubt was that in whatever way, I would manifest the glory of God that is within me. That is what we were born to do.
How was your first experience on Rauka show?
I was very nervous since I had never hosted a show before. It is very different from being on stage singing. Also, the show is fully dependent on one’s creativity, it is not scripted. I was therefore afraid that I would say something that didn’t sound very intelligent. haha. But God has been faithful this far! I have learned to loosen up and just have fun! I also know now that God does not look for the ‘experienced’, but the ‘available’ ones. I’m honored to be used by Him
To whom do you accredit your success in life?
God, God, and only God. And I thank Him for blessing me with family and friends who have stood by me.
Has your church played a role in nurturing your career?
Absolutely. I grew up in Parklands Baptist Church, where I served in the youth ministry, as well as a praise band known as ‘Eneza’. I got to learn a lot from others who are musically gifted. I also got lots of opportunities to sing on Sundays and during various functions. This prepared me for the career I now have. I’m currently a member of Tabibu Ministries, and they have also been a great support system for me, and also a covering for me. It is important to be accountable to someone.
When did you get born again?
I accepted Christ into my heart as a little girl, but got to re-dedicate my life later on in high school.
What are some of the advantages / challenges that young women face when they get born again in their early lives?
Advantages- you learn to trust God very early in your life, like any relationship it needs time to develop, so the earlier you accept Christ in your heart, the better.
Challenges- Peer pressure would have to be the greatest one of them all. Since it is so important for young people to fit in with their peers, then the pressure to conform to worldly desires is very high.
Which bible stories/ verses do you draw your inspiration from?
There are lots of verses that inspire me, some of these are: Psalms 23, Psalms 1, Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 4:6-8, and many more.
What advice do you have for young people especially ladies?
My advice to young people would be to love and respect themselves. When you respect yourself, then others will automatically respect you. This I especially say to young ladies, because there’s a lot of pressure from society to be something we are not. It is important to know yourself and be the best ‘you’ that you can be.
What message do you have for the young ladies and men on living a Godly life/ Christian lifestyle?
The psalmist David asked a question that every young person has asked at one point or another, “how can a young man keep his ways pure?” And the answer is as clear as day, “by living in accordance to the word of God”. I have found that answers to every challenge I have faced in life lie in the word of God. But in order to find them, I must dig in. My encouragement would be to dig into the scriptures and to stand on every promise given by God.
What can you say was the role of your parents/siblings/ friends/pastors in shaping your life?
My parents ensured that we learned about God from a tender age. I remember having to memorize scripture, and reciting it to my parents, I also remember singing hymns as a family, in Swahili, English, Kamba...all these worked together in shaping me. My siblings, friends, Pastors, have all been a great support system for me as a young lady, and a minister of the word through music.
Most embarrassing scenario in your life?
Umm...I once got on stage to sing...the intro to the song was played, and then my mind went totally blank!! So we had to start all over again.
Latest project you are working on?
I have lots of music in store, some of it is already recorded and waiting to be released. I’m also looking into doing a few more joint projects with other artistes.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 March 2012 07:50|