Written by Rosemary Wachiye
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Ephesians 6: 1: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Just how far this verse from the Bible should be followed and adhered to?
Gospel music icon Grace Keverenge has risen to fame in her musical career despite her father’s determination to obstruct her from nurturing her talent in singing at an early age. So did she ignore the wise counsel of her father? Did she disobey her father and the bible teachings? Let’s see.
Mrs. Keverenge had discovered her singing talent in her early childhood which her father was opposed to since he feared that her love for music might deter her from concentrating in education which like most parents had put priority in.
In her interview at West Fm on Barikiwa (Gospel show aired every Sunday from 5am to 10am ) program, Grace explains that her father Raphael Indoshi had not accepted Christianity by then and was not convinced at all that she could perform well in her studies while still singing for God.
“My father was very harsh on me when he noticed my desire to sing yet he wanted me to learn, he even threatened to stop paying school fees for me in case I didn’t stop singing,” said Mrs. Keverenge.
She was born in 1976, at Sokone village in Bukura Division in Teso District, though a Luhya by origin. Her parents had settled in Teso from Mumias.
She is the 2nd born in family of nine; consisting of 4 girls and 5 boys born to Mrs. Zabensia Ndobola and father Mr. Raphael Indoshi.
She explains that she inherited her talent from her mother who loved singing but had never had a chance to explore it and she felt like it was upon her to utilize it and she was determined to fulfill it despite the challenges she faced.
Mrs. Keverenge attended her Primary school at Mumias DEB primary school from pre-primary up to class 6 then was later on transferred to Sokone Primary School in Teso where she completed her class 8 then joined St. Marys Girls Secondary School in Mumias where she attended her secondary school studies.She reveals that she was transferred to a local school after her father was convinced that she was not learning but merely engaged in singing since she was the soloist and lead singer in traditional music dances and singing games in primary school.
The transfer did not stop her from singing as she still continued even in the next school but her father made it very clear that he would never accept her to pursue singing talent at their home.
She became serious in her music talent in 1993 when she was in Form three and it even continued with the same after school when she visited her aunt who was a born again Christian who introduced her to York Evangelistic Ministry (YEM) in Kakamega.
Her love for music could not be stopped not even with the wrath of her father; she struggles her way through financial constraints but could not get her music recorded until she joined the industry that willingly financed her hence her music being released.
She reveals that her father came to appreciate her musical career after she had released her first song ‘Yesu yangula’, which means that ‘Jesus had saved me’ despite lack of support from her father who by then was in a position to support her music financially.
“Yesu yangula is a song that describes the power of Jesus as being stronger than man and when he has blessed someone no man can stop the blessing,” says Keverenge.
She sings in her father’s Tsotso language as well as her mother’s Isukha dialect which she says is purposed to pass the Christian message to the local people who may not have had opportunity to acquire formal education and could be having difficulty in understanding either Swahili or English or both.
She called upon parents to contribute in nurturing their children’s talent at early stages and not to be the obstruction to their children in their quest to attain their dream.
“Parents should be the pillar to nurturing the child’s career and talent since they are the closest people to the child and should not leave it for third parties to assist while they can do it much better,” said Mrs.Kaverenge.
She says that probably if she had her parents support all the way she could never have struggled in search for freedom of expression like she has done. She however reiterates that the heavenly journey is not an easy path and has no smooth sail but reveals that once one is determined to achieve their goals then nothing can stop them.
She calls upon the youth who have a talent and interest but have no support from their immediate guardians not to lose hope but to always find an alternative support to achieve it.
“It doesn’t matter who is against your ambition, it is up to you to work towards what you like and ensure you live your dream; because even those against you will also come around and support you unlike if you give up,” she advices.
Mrs. Keverenge offers herself as an example to youth who may be losing hope in pursuing their dream career, saying that she may never have reached out to her listener’s through her music if she had followed her father’s wishes.
She now warns parents against dictating to their children what they should do or become in life saying that it’s as if they want the child to live their dreams and not their own.
She is married to Mr. Tom Keverenge who is her back-up singer and they have been blessed with 5 children; 4 girls and 1 boy.
She has done collaborated with Reverend Peter Wekesa, Mrs.Jane Osborn, Victory celebration choir in Kitale and Celestine from Lugulu and is still doing more collaboration to serve her fans’ needs.
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