Man Ingwe, the leopard of contemporary Gospel Music
Written by Rosemary Wachiye
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Anderson Ambindi aka ‘Man Ingwe. Photo/ Isura Christopher.
Anderson Ambindi commonly known for his stage name, ‘Man Ingwe’ to mean a leopard of the jungle has hit the music industry for his unique style of music through the use of comedy in both Luhya and Swahili languages to pass across spiritual messages to the audience.
A preacher and previously a teacher by profession, Man Ingwe now gets to be known for his well nurtured talent of solo singing that he had since his early childhood.
In an interview at West Fm studio, Man Ingwe tells his untold story of patience, persistence and consistence in his music career that has seen him raise the bar 12 years down the line since he set off.
“Music has been a talent and a part of me since my childhood where I would sing in Sunday school, I was a soloist in the school choir since class 6 in primary and in the Secondary school’s drama festivals as well as the music festivals.”
He reveals his love for luhya culture, a reason for his type of songs in owe to promote his culture while passing across the Christian information.
He was born in Ingotse area of Kakamega, to his father Councilor Peter Munala and mother Reverend Stella Munala in a Christian family set up that had seen him brought up in a strong Christian life.
He learnt in primary schools in Kakamega went to Kakamega High School then joined Kenyatta University for his undergraduate degree.
He is now married to Mrs. Suzy Munala and they have been blessed with two sons a 5 year old and 2 years old.
Man Ingwe states that he uses his music to spread the gospel that cuts across all the lifestyle it intends to lure those outside the church to join church and to strengthen the faith of those already in church.
“I sing Christian related music because I am born again and I sing in praise to God for all that he has done for me as I endeavor to pass across the message to others to follow his way,” said Man Ingwe.
He sings in luhya as an appreciation of his luhya culture which he applauds for having the best beats all over Kenya.
“hakuna beats zinashinda utamu wa beats za kiluhya Kenya hii yote, nimetembea kote nchini na nikafahamu kuwa nyimbo zilizoimbwa kutumia beats za kiluhya zimeenea zaidi na zinapendwa kote kote,” said Man Ingwe. (There are no musical beats that can surpass the ones from Luhya, I have walked all over and songs that have fused Luhya beats emrge to be the best)
Man Ingwe explains that his music promotes a balanced living among the audience as it informs on Christianity, social life, education and many more and it encourages people to both spiritually and morally straight.
He challenged his fellow musicians not to stop at singing but to upgrade in education so that they can also be able to have part time professions besides singing as he reveals that sometimes one can release a song but he might not get the returns as expected which will slow him down in his other productions.
Through statistics he says it has been found that Kenya is the only country where gospel music hits more than secular, which according to Man Ingwe has been contributed a lot by the media which currently has been seen to promote gospel talents more.
“Radio stations now days give more airtime to the gospel songs as compared to the olden days where most of the content on radio were secular. This has led to most local artist wanting to sing gospel in pretence so that they can hit in the market,” said Man Ingwe.
However, he doesn’t criticize such pretence, he quotes from the Bible that Jesus gave room fro the Pharisees and all the other Jews that pretended to pass the qword because he knew that as much as they were false, they were promoting the word of God.
“Though there are expectations that God has set for every Christian, it’s not in our power as human beings to judge others because it’s God himself who will judge when the day comes,” said Man Ingwe.
He passed a word of advice to the upcoming talented musicians, to always strive and give their best even if it was through one song that would be an opening platform to their career and to always seek advice and consult from the other already in the industry for them to grow.
“For the upcoming musicians all I can say is that when you need help or advice, it’s up to you to seek it, don’t sit back expecting someone to come looking for you, when you produce an album then take it yourself to the radio stations for them to promote it,” said Man Ingwe.
His song Ugali sosa is an advice to Christians not to just sit and wait for miracles to happen in their lives or a blessing to come their way but to seek God first and the other needs will be granted to them.
His other hit song, Boda boda he says is quoted from the scriptures on marriage that was meant for two people, a husband to love the wife and the wife to respect his husband just the same way boda boda (a bicycle) was meant for two p[passenger the driver and the passenger only.
“My music uses the simple things and language to pass across a Christian ,message to the audience that is why I sang Boda boda, Ugali sosa, mulika mwizi, wrong number, please call me, using the common things in a Kenyan’s daily life to pass my message,” said Man Ingwe.
With his role models from both Christian and social sector Lucky Dube, Rebbeca Malope and Donny Mc Lurkin, his music is a collection of touch from both the two sides and has been a fulfillment of persistent and consistence into producing 81 songs and 2 hit albums.