Singer Kigame is a voice of reason in the wilderness

By Levi Obonyo
Friday, August 28th, 2020
Reuben Kigame. Photo/Courtesy
In summary

You have to give it to him, Reuben Kigame is a man of determination. Many people like trumpeting their achievements, being the first to do this or to do that, but it all amounts to some tortured self-acclamation. Not so, Kigame. He is a first on many fronts.

To many, Kigame is simply a gospel musician. But if you thought Kigame was your average gospel singer who scribbles the lines with his eyes on the sales chart then you have a surprise in store.

Kigame’s songs are lines or themes picked directly from the Scripture and can be uncomfortable at times to listen to.

But they can also be hugely comforting. Some of his compositions have been appropriated by the military and  performed during national occasions.

In the world of music, Kigame rides in the tradition of such greats as Mary Atieno of the Adamu na Hawa fame.

Atieno sang in the early 1990s and few walked her path until Kigame came along.

But Kigame is not just all music. He is one of the few Christians who engages in apologetics – men and women given to defending the doctrine and teachings of the Bible from the attacks by people committed to debasing it.

Again, that is not your average preaching of the Bible, the stock of many evangelicals who wave miracles and charisma at their audience. 

In the last two weeks, Kigame has been on a war path. Riled by the ripe corruption in the country, the Eldoret-based preacher has called on his many followers to spend one week in confessions and making their relationships right with God and the second week praying for the redemption of the country from the jaws of the corrupt.

Kigame is passionate. But how did it get to this? This past week has showed a side of Kenyans that seldom comes out.

From Mombasa across the vast terrain of this land, all the way to the west in Kisumu, pockets of agitated Kenyans have been seemingly spontaneously coming out on the streets to protest corruption at the nation’s health services nerve centre at Afya House.

Protests in this country have always been associated with the opposition leader Raila Odinga, who, with a seeming snap of the finger, can summon a massive crowd to flood the streets and call for change.

But the Raila of protests is no more. In his stead is emerging a mellowed man, now articulating government policies, receiving government delegations at his Upper Hill base; a more or less senior statesman.

There is nobody to fill the gap he has always occupied. Most opposition leaders are comfortable shouting, issuing press statements from the comfort of their offices, or accusing  Raila for not being there for the opposition brigade.

The crowd fed up with corruption in high places, is yearning for leadership, for somebody to harness that energy and channel it in this fight. The public anger is understandable.

There were days when those given to theft stole in thousands. But the figures one hears nowadays are in billions.

So many billions gone to the construction of a dam that never was; some carried away in a sack; so many to a road that was never done; or whose finishing was reduced from the original specifications; and now the story of health aid that is said to have never reached the people.

Of course we do not know the truth yet as investigations are still going on. But the rot smells strong enough to make anybody wonder what is wrong with this country.

As a Nakuru preacher put it, there are people who are still paying the debts they incurred to meet the cost of their Covid-19-related isolation.

Then they hear that billions donated or loaned to meet these costs have been siphoned away.

And so Kigame and his brigade will be praying that divine wrath will descend upon the corrupt in the land.

This is not a vain mission. The determined Kigame will claim a few sculps. — The writer is dean, School of Communication, Daystar University