As the political drums continue to beat, so too will the rhythms and melodies of Congolese singer Mbilia Bel accompany the campaigns of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition.
In conversation with the Nation< /em> Bel Azimio said candidate Raila Odinga’s move to pick a woman as a running mate prompted her to sing for the Coalition.
“I am here voluntarily and for the love of Raila Odinga and his running mate” , she said.
“I will sing until Mr. Odinga is sworn in as Kenya’s next President after August 9th. I support Mr. Odinga because of his manifesto and the handshake he had with President Uhuru Kenyatta that brought the country together.
“I personally respect Mr. Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua as they are like our parents… . because Mr. Odinga has great respect for my music and the music of other artists.
“When he comes to Congo, he supports us to spread peace among the people of Africa. Now they have come together with President Kenyatta and they have given women leadership in politics, something I appreciate very much and so it was not a problem to appear in his campaign,” she said.
Last week said her: In an interview in Nairobi with veteran Kenyan broadcaster Fred Obachi Machoka of Royal Media Services, Bel expressed her delight at being invited to perform again in Kenya.
“Kenya is like my second musical Home and I’m always honored to be invited to perform here,” she said.
The mother-of-three said she decided to support Mr Odinga because he made promises to Kenyans and leading people out of poverty.
“Remember, William Ruto is also Kenyan, but for me I chose the leader who spoke to my heart and preached unity and peace for the African people. That’s why I support Mr. Odinga with my music,” she said.
The hitmaker “Nakei Nairobi” (Lingala for “I’m Going To Nairobi”) recently made headlines after she was spotted performing sensually with Mr Odinga to dance on the campaign trail at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega County.
Mr. Odinga invited her to sing “Nakei Nairobi”, one of her most popular songs.
The The Promoter of her tour, Jules Nsana, who runs JNsana Promotions, said Bel and her band would be in the country for a few more days, with the possibility of hosting additional concerts.
Bel had a string of hits with the Singer and bandleader Tabu Ley Rochereau is popular across East Africa.
In June 2017 she performed at Club Meladen in Nairobi’s Upper Hill district and also sang at Koroga Festival 2019, her flagship event of her Nairobi tour then arranged by JNsana Promotions. She shared the stage with fellow London resident Kanda Bongo Man.
Nakei Nairobi was composed in honor of former President Daniel arap Moi and the Kenyan cities of Mombasa, Kisumu and Nakuru. The song was meant to promote unity between the Kenyans and Congolese living in the country.
Afrisa International from Tabu Ley toured Kenya in 1982, a few months after Bel, who was originally a dancer, joined the band. Then she carved a niche for herself as a top singer.
Bel joined Afrisa International after the departure of her fellow singer and dancer Yondo Sister, who wanted to pursue a solo career.
On Bei On her first trip to Kenya, she performed lead vocals on Tabu Ley’s “Kamunga” hit. She performed his other compositions including “Eswi yo wapi?”, “Nadina” and “Cadance Mudanda”.
At Tabu Ley’s Afrisa International she sang alongside Faya Tess and Beyou Ceil, both of whom were on the scene in Europe.
Bel has called on Kenyans to keep the peace when they go to the polls next month.
“I call on Kenyans to keep the to keep peace in the country. I am preparing a song for peace in the country,” she said.