One deep thought has been lingering in my mind for a while now. It has been gripping and as time elapses, a voice asks me “Will you ever achieve your dreams?” “What impact will you bring to the society?” I mean, when you look at screen artistes everywhere, they make their work look so easy and who would I be kidding if I said I didn’t want that for myself as well.
As Rihanna would say, I gotta “work work work work!” to get to that point in life and what better way to get into popstar training than with one of the coolest choirs in town; The Kenyan Boys Choir! So I got my voice in check and my dancing shoes on because after all, this is what I want for my life and I believe it’s the same for the rest of my new family. Despite the intense rehearsal, this is what I’d call a brotherhood of talented artists crafting their skills day in day out.
Well, similar to all the newbies who joined the choir late 2017, I had to undergo the initiation into the choir a.k.a the orientation. Although I had missed my cluster’s orientation in January 2017, I was well accommodated with the 2017 auditionees and on January 8th, 2018 I was privileged to go through this rite of passage.
Mr Masambaya, (I gotta stop calling him this ASAP though), one of the production managers gave us a really lovely history of the choir. Telling us of the highs and lows the choir has gone through just seemed just like a really relevant way to welcome us. From the court cases with the former director who seem to be the villain in our musical journey, to performing with Grammy-nominated and award-winning artists.
For us-the young tucks and fresh talent coming into the choir, (there are some older than me, but a day in the choir compared to my three weeks is nothing) – the first-hand information we received at the orientation was totally relevant and enlightening. The coolest thing in the whole process was being given an opportunity to say a little something alongside the choir’s administrator Kelvin Mahasi and another member Enock Micheu. The admin even echoed my parting shot “let’s do this!” as we motivated the newbies to look forward to a wonderful musical journey ahead.
Unknowingly to us, all the psych and zeal we portrayed gave Masambaya an idea and the smirk he wore on his face hinted something else. Just when I thought all we were getting was a speech, he said he had a fantastic idea. He asked us to go for a couple of laps. Don’t get me wrong though, I believe in the statement of ‘No Pain No Gain’, but it took a while before I personally got used to all that running. “Just two laps today, cause we usually go for six.” He said as he led the way to what I call the ‘air tract’ because it’s supposed to open your airways and all.
Music is the one thing I look forward to each day I wake up. My passion. My soul. My life. It’s the one thing I work jealously towards perfecting. I bet my brothers think so too. So when our trainer in the choir says “hop”, I ask “how high?” in order to become the singer I have envisioned time and again.
After the laps, we learned a beautiful song from Namibia called ‘Tuli Tuli’ with a simple choreography which goes hand in hand with it. Then when we all thought we were getting a hang of things, Bam! A tongue twister was thrown at us called ‘Roho Biro’ – a folk gospel tune from the Luhya community of Kenya. All of us being young and heavily influenced by modern pop tunes, such traditional tunes are a fascination and make us appreciate the diverse culture we hail from. I have nothing against anyone’s ethnicity, in fact, I’m very respectful of other people’s culture and diversity. However, how some things that slip out of people’s mouths on a daily basis are quite amazing. All those ‘r’s and ‘k’s that become ‘h’s is simply intriguing, and how ‘siorirorekha‘ becomes ‘siyoreka‘ … only Hinga knows.
However, after a couple of trials and errors, we all got a hang of it. After all, we did sign up for this and with the positive mindset, it gets easier when you have fun with it.
Though it may seem to be an early start, I believe this musical journey will lead me to greater heights.
I can’t wait to tell you more.
Narrated by Ashton Laurence