Arts & Entertainments

Emmy Madubuko: Footprint of an African gospel music icon

Call her a gospel icon, and you are, no doubt, stating the obvious. Since 17 years ago when her first album, which was released in the US and was well received, making her a regular festival performer there and internationally before it was even acclaimed in Kenya, Ambassador Emmy Kosgei Madubuko, has built a huge following across the world, with people who appreciate her music.

Currently working on her seventh album here in Lagos with a production team and producer, who understands her music, led by Orliam, the multiple award-winning gospel music maestro, is the music pastor, RAWF patron and the first lady of Revival Assembly Church. Married to Apostle Anselm Madubuko, the founder of the church in Lagos, Emmy is noted for interpreting her music through her culture, donning African regalia, creatively choreographed African dancing and the spirit behind her songs, according to her, is the power of God.

A Kenyan by birth but resident in Nigeria for the last seven years, she is from the nomadic Kalenjin tribe reputed to have the world’s best long distance runners. Both her parents are pastors and she is a born again Christian brought up in the church with the natural love for gospel music.

After her college studies and other jobs including modelling, she ventured into music after being encouraged by a popular musician in Kenya who urged her to add singing in her mother tongue to her natural qualities and her profession.

Her musical inspirations include Rebecca Malope, the late Mariam Makeba and ‘Joy of Celebration’. For her, music is food for the soul and the spirit behind the music is more important than the language of communication. Music is a powerful tool that can be used to pass any message across and she uses same to do so in her native tongue.

She said: “Music has no language and barrier. Music brings people together to preach peace and bringing healing. African culture and music is powerful and attractive.” The project for her seventh album includes already released single titled ‘Maloo’, which is a Gospel Afro- fusion blend of Kalenjin, Swahili and Igbo with Jazz infusions. The rest of the album is expected to be released by the end of the year.

Emmy describes her musical style as richly Afro-fusion and patriotic. She further describes it as a source of Inspiration to her audience. Some of her highly acclaimed songs from her 6 previously released albums includes ‘taunet nelel’ ‘Ategisin’, ‘ololo’, among many, which have won her numerous awards on local and international music scene.

Emmy is both a peace and cultural ambassador for Kenya and the visionary for the annual Pamoja concerts now in its 10th anniversary which is a platform that preach peaceful co-existence in various parts of Kenya mostly in hotspot areas through music that brings together close to 40,000 attendees.

After receiving an honorary award from the Kenyan head of state, she was also officially appointed Tourism and Culture ambassador both nationally and globally and has several times represented Kenya globally at festivals presenting another side of Kenya than the popular tourism side. She represented Africa at one of the Master Peace Concert Amsterdam which is one of the biggest global festivals bringing artistes from all nations. These types of platforms allow her take her music of peace globally.

She is a multiple award-winning gospel music maestro, not only in her home country Kenya, but also globally. She has won Befta awards UK, AGMA awards UK, Over 10 Groove awards, Eam awards, Head of State commendation by Kenya’s President. Emmy is a philanthropist who has touched kids with disability and has a school ‘Hope Academy’, where she educates over 70 children from poor backgrounds through her music proceeds among other projects.

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