The future belongs to those who deliberately choose to create something of out themselves in the hard times of today. Jigger infested feet and prolonged periods of starvation forced him out of school to help his mother fend for his disabled siblings.
Michael Kibui now 30 instead chose to be a harder for a Mzungu rancher while his mother worked on the rich man’s farm all day, for three kilogrammes of maize flour to feed the family.
“I had to forgo meals most of the time as my two disabled brothers fought to have a share. My younger sister was defenseless and all I could secure from the fight is what she ate,” he said adding: “I developed intestinal constriction because of poor feeding and had part of my damaged organ removed.”
Fondly referred to by his gospel peers as Mike, the resident of Kafaru locaton, Chaka in Nyeri County tells of a life of strife and self determination to pull his family out of the cycle of unending poverty. In his gospel music, the melodious tenor voice gives hope to those weighed down by the burdens of life.
His first album ‘Kahinda no Kanini’ –the time is short- reminds his fans that only a little longer and Jesus Christ will be back to redeem his own, acknowledging that he remains to be the best shepherd.
His decision to sing for pay was welcomed by his family members, who have always seen him as the only light of the family.
I am their hope
“My mother, Margaret Wanjiku, has always reminded me that I am their hope and she blesses everything that I put my hands to,” notes the fourth born in a family of five, regretting that his father had fled the agony of bringing up his disabled brothers.
Michael Kibui reminds me of the late oil man John De Rockefeller who dropped out of school to fend for his family at age 12 as his father who was a conman was never at home.
She hums my songs wherever she goes and whenever I perform in church, she joins in approval,” he adds.
Kibui who feels that his time to settle-down has not yet come also performs skits and comedy in public functions for money as he no longer depends on menial labor due to his poor health.
“We don’t have to always fight to get what we want. My skits are against domestic violence and peace keeping,” he says as he gets lost in thoughts, allowing himself a moment to feel the weight he has carried as a result of domestic violence.
He lauds his mentor Charles King’ori, who he looks up to for inspiration in the gospel music industry, while he fondly remembers his primary school teacher Jane King’ori for recognizing his talent and urging him on.
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Mike is certain that the future is bright for youths venturing in the industry despite teething problems. “Talent is the way to go, if every youth can do what they are passionate about, many will never complain. Financial aid, empowerment and mentorship are lacking,” notes he.
He adds, “I would like to be remembered for the lives I will touch while I perform.
As he goes about the streets of Nyahururu town wooing his fans with his Kikuyu dialect lyrics at least to put food on his table, Kibui hopes to secure Sh 7, 000 that remains outstanding to have his Video Album out.
By Anne Sabuni(KNA)