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Benefit artistes get from political endorsements

The Entertainment industry has not been left behind in the rush to endorse a number of politicians vying for different posts in the upcoming polls.

A screen grab from Gospel singer Bahati and ODM leader Raila Odinga's collabo song called Fire. Photo/COURTESY

Key among the biggest hit makers is Maima of the Nthi Ino Nditei. The song has been used in Azimio rallies to mobilize voters especially the youth who can relate with the song to cast their votes for Raila.

Released seven months ago, Nthi Ino Nditei has attracted over 2.4 million views on YouTube.

Another attention-grabbing singer is Bahati who this week released a new song with ODM Leader Raila Odinga titled Fire.

Fire is only three days old and has garnered more than 658 million views on YouTube.

Mwingi Times has investigated social circles to examine the popularity of these songs and the benefits the artists stand to gain beyond the fame.


Deputy President William Ruto has also utilised the popular phrase Sipangwingwi in reference to meaning that the future of Kenyans will be decided on the ballot by ordinary Kenyans and not through hotel meetings by “dynasties” in Nairobi.

The original singers of Sipangwingwi are Extray Taniua, Trio Mio and Ssaru. Released four months ago, the song has been viewed for close to 6 million times on YouTube.

Ukambani, known for its rich history in Benga music has been a source of political endorsement songs in the past.

They include Musyoka WaMaiyu and Ken Wa Maria who have both sang songs popularising Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka.

Councillor Musyoka Nzili aka Wamaiyu served as chairman of the defunct County Council of Mwingi.

In his Kalonzo Ika Nesa song, Ken Wa Maria says that all presidential votes from the region will be cast for Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka.  Ken says that since Kalonzo served as the Vice President, he was best suited to be the next president. He goes to list the needs of voters in Ukambani as lack of water and poor roads.

In 2020, Gospel Singer Bahati vowed to support DP Ruto in 2022 elections. But he has already switched loyalty and sang a tune for Raila. Speaking at Karen home of Deputy President Ruto on July 3, 2020, Bahati left no doubt of his preferred presidential candidate.

"I'm really happy to be here. Personally I don't have to say it, Millicent knows the work we did last time, we did over 555 stops in the country.

“My mouth would run dry due to the singing and I'm ready to do it again come 2022," he said.

The Mtoto wa Mama singer took the opportunity to ask the government to allocate special funds for artistes whose incomes were wiped by Covid-19 pandemic that barred social gatherings.

Ben Githae’s Tano Tena gathered criticism from Kenyans. The song was meant to rally wananchi to relect UhuRuto government in 2017.

Despite the controversy, Mr Githae told Jalang’o TV that he was given an envelope full of money in Nakuru State House in appreciation of his work by President Uhuru.

"I went to Nakuru. I found him (Uhuru) with the DP (William Ruto). 'You sang a good song and we have called you to say thank you and we would like you to be part of our campaigns.' Uhuru told me. I was then given an envelope," he said.


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