Faith Chepkirui, rising star of secular music - Beaking Kenya News

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Saturday, 30 January 2021

Faith Chepkirui, rising star of secular music


When the renowned secular musician Diana Chemutai, popularly known as Chelele, was murdered in 2016, the question that arose was who would fill her shoes.

However, four years later, fast-rising songbird Faith Chepkirui, popularly known as Faith Marende, seems ready to fill Chelele's shoes.

Interestingly, Faith worked as a housemaid at Chelele's house.

There is a raging debate among Kalenjin community secular music lovers as to whether Faith is a fitting replacement of Chelele.

"Kalenjin secular music lovers adored Chelele. They loved her music. I want to follow in her footsteps," says faith.

Interestingly, just like Chelele, Faith hails from Kapkwen village in Bomet County.

The 25-year-old musician with a melodious voice is popular in the Rift Valley and other parts of the country.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic has slowed down things for Faith.

"I miss live performances. My fans miss me. Hopefully, things will get better. I have a lot of surprises in store for my fans," she said at Kapkwen village recently, where she was relaxing with her nine-year-old son, Emanuel Kibet, and her fiancé Adison Cheruiyot.

Her top composition is Sigiik, which has so far attracted more than 634,000 views on YouTube.

Popular songs 

"The song is about family. I wish the young generation could emulate our parents who stick together for many years."

Her other song, Segeneniat, released three months ago, has also attracted more than 240,000 views. Angot Ichomon has 221,000 views, Slay King has 218,000 views and Bore Biik has 216,000 views.

Her other popular songs include MarendeChomyetKlessaKokoyotKiurot Kimogerin KomieChitab BikKitiemakMauFabyChomietNatinyeKelongOinetGeoffrey KiruiKikiuson, and Kitiemak Sobondanyun.

She has composed more than 100 songs that are popular on Kalenjin radio stations.

"Because I am young, most of my songs revolve around romance, moral issues, culture, family, politics, education, business and farming," she says.

Faith did not study beyond primary school. She got pregnant at 16.

"I was a tea picker in Tenwek in Bomet and worked as a housemaid, earning Sh800 per month," she says.

She started her music career in 2013 at the age of 18 at Mugango in Bomet Central.
She was largely influenced by Chelele.

"I was employed by Chelele as a housemaid and I used to admire the way she was writing and singing in the house," she says.

Faith's latest song, Naogopa Wakamba, is a collaboration singer Dennis Kisangau.
The second last born in a family of six, she attributes her rising star to her son Emmanuel.

"I used to go for shows while he was still young. I would breastfeed him in my room," she says.

She advises the upcoming musicians to invest and save for a rainy day.

"Make hay while the sun shines," says Faith.

Best friends 

Her fiancé, Adison Cheruiyot, who is studying nursing at Texas in the US, says he is proud of her.

"She sings about reality and I love listening to the songs," he says.

"I now need to settle down," says Faith. "I need a husband and children. I'm lucky God has blessed me with a polite fiancé."

"People ask me why I want to marry a man who doesn't drink yet I perform in night clubs."

Faith went to Mugango, Ndaraweta and Chuiyat She sat her KCPE in 2010.

"Being a female musician is not easy. Many people in my community don't believe a female secular musician can be a wife material."

She says her boyfried and her son Emmanuel are best friends. 

Adison says: "Having a fiancée singing secular music is not easy as there is peer and family pressure."

Her first song, Commander Jeshi, was a collaboration with Taluma Kuresoi.

Her second song, Kiganjo, was a collaboration with Mike Rotich, also known as Sweetstar.

Her third song, Marende, released in 2014, saw her change her stage name to Faith Therui Marende.

"Marende was is about a Form Two boy who loved my . I wanted him to study."

Her YouTube Channel has attracted nearly 15,000 subscribers. "Music has transformed my life. I have a house and I get monthly royalties."

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