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Kenyan Gospel singers clinch top awards in London

Posted by Administrator on July 13, 2011

”]Emmy Kosgey and (INSET), Daddy Owen, who shook off strong competition in London to emerge tops in the continental awards. [Photos: file/Standard]

After a two-year domination of the continental gospel charts and awards, top Kenyan gospel stars Emmy Kosgei and Owen Mwatia, better known as Daddy Owen, stormed into international stardom. They won huge accolades during the awards in the United Kingdom recently. Kosgei was crowned the Overall Best Female Artiste during the Africa Gospel Music Awards (AGMA) gala in London last weekend. The gospel songstress known for her energetic stage presence and powerful vocals, largely rendered in her Kalenjin language, beat nine other big names, among them, Diana Hamilton (UK), Lara George (Nigeria), Ohemaa Mercy (Ghana) and Winnie Mashana (South Africa). “The news got me by surprise. This was my first nomination in such a grand event and I had been pitted against very big names in the continental music arena.

It took me two days before I could truly believe I had been crowned the best in Africa,” a jubilant Kosgei told The Standard.  “The crown is big for me. It is a great honour. Now, I’m wearing the big shoes that come with great challenges and responsibilities. It prepares me and calls upon me to work hard and open new doors. I’m humbled that Kenya and Africa as a whole are supporting me,” she added.  Daddy Owen who is arguably the most popular singer in Kenya at the moment (commonly known as the King of Kapungala in showbiz) scooped the Best East African Artiste Award. Also awarded was South Africa’s Rebecca Malope, who picked the Lifetime Achievement Award. The glamorous awards ceremony, now in its second edition, seeks to honour gospel music entertainers and industry players and organisations on the continent as well as the African Diaspora. “I didn’t attend the ceremony as I had other commitments in Amsterdam. It was a joyous surprise when my fellow singers and fans from across Africa started calling to congratulate me. I give all the glory to God,” Daddy Owen told The Standard on telephone.


“God has been good to me. The awards I have been getting are not just my working, but a reflection of what God can do if you remain real to your calling,” he added.  “My word to gospel artistes is that they should remain true to their calling. It is easy to be swayed away once media attention and celebrity gets into your head. We should never forget that we are in God’s service,” said Owen.  Since she released her hit song Taunet Nelel (translated as New Beginnings), followed by runway singles Katau Banda and Ololo, Kosgei’s popularity in the entertainment industry has continued to grow in leaps and bounds, picking many accolades along the way, including the 2010 Best Female Gospel Artiste during the Groove Awards. She has also been nominated for the inaugural East Africa Music Awards slated for Nairobi next month.  “I’m planning to launch my new video next month, after which I will embark on a countrywide tour to reach out to my fans. I will use the opportunity to preach peace and cohesion as Kenyans celebrate their great diversity,” said the singer who embarks on a two-week Nigerian tour next Monday.


Daddy Owen, now ridding high with his 2010 Piga Saluti has had an illustrious career. He is the most decorated artiste in the region, after winning a record 17 awards in two years. This includes the coveted continental MTV-Awards. Kenyan artistes had received a strong showing with her best talents in the gospel scene receiving more nominations than the neighbouring countries.


Leading the pack was Owen with four nominations, while Kosgei and Juliani received nods in two categories. Other nominations include Alice Kamande in the East Africa category and Paul Mwai for Best Gospel Album. The One Voice gospel music show was also nominated in the Best Gospel TV programme while Milele FM’s Gospel Sunday show was nominated for the best radio programme category, and which it went on to win.  Sociologists attribute the success of gospel music to its uplifting messages during hardships.


One Response to “Kenyan Gospel singers clinch top awards in London”

  1. Mary said

    congrats. Keep up the faith, never forget ur God

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