The Kenyan gospel industry has been marred with so much controversy in the last couple of years, just like its musical counterpart, the secular industry.
It’s clear that the only thing that distinguishes the gospel and secular music scene is the name of the “Lord”, “Jesus” or in Swahili, “Mungu” and “Yesu”.
There are a just a few artistes who have courted controversy and scandals over the years, ruining it for those who are true and genuine in the word of God.
But just because there’s some chaff on the grains, doesn’t mean that the whole harvest is spoilt or should be gotten rid of. In simple words, there are still very many gospel acts who are rooted in the word of God and true to their faith and songs.
But at times, we need to separate the chaff from the clean grain, and this is why I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 bad boys in the gospel music industry in Kenya. Yes, this time we will focus on the male singers.
This list is not meant to tarnish anyone’s name, just going by happenings in the last couple of years, scandals and allegations that have been open to the public radar.
Check out 5 male gospel singers who have continuously been marred by controversy and scandals since they joined the gospel world.
1. WILLY PAUL
Not so “msafi” as he calls himself! He now goes by the moniker name, Willy Pozze and of course, he had to be the first in this list. The Fanya hitmaker has some of the biggest songs in Kenya, but scandals are like his middle name, following him even when he’s trying to steer clear of them. Wilson Abubakar Radido has been accused of rape, asking for nudes from lasses, drinking alcohol, instructing his pregnant girlfriend to abort, just to mention a few. Not forgetting his recent song Tiga Wana, where fans accused him of releasing an ungodly song which doesn’t have a Christian message. But in the last few months, he’s been trying to stay out of trouble.
I had to include his name right after Pozze’s because they are almost birds of the same feather, just that he never goes to the same extremes. For one Bahati, real name, Kevin Kioko, is guilty of picking online fights with Willy Paul and accusing him of stealing his songs with no tangible evidence, instead of facing him and solving the issues face to face. Bahati was also slammed after sitting on President Uhuru’s chair back in 2016, which was unacceptable according to political analysts. He basically preaches water and drinks wine. At some point, he even ‘quit the gospel industry’ only to come back with a song, and not forgetting when he accused Daddy Owen of extorting cash from singer Denno.
This is another artiste who has never indicated if he’s a gospel singer or an entertainer. The Tenda Wema hitmaker has been accused of rape and last year, his ex-girlfriend exposed him in 2015, accusing Ringtone of impregnating her then dumping her, and even denying any knowledge of her. After the child was born, the said lady even came out to reveal the face of the child who had an uncanny resemblance to Ringtone. He’s also been accused of failing to comply with the Music Society of Kenya, and even after claiming to quit the gospel industry, he still came back with his 2016 hit song with Christina Shusho.
4. PAPA DENNIS
This gospel act has some of the most expensive music videos in Kenya and has worked with some of the biggest names both in Kenyan and Africa. But Papa Dennis has come under a lot of criticism for his scandalous relationships and featuring a lot of women dancers who are more secular than gospel. He also came under a lot of scrutiny for collaborating with Nigerian secular artistes like Kore Bello and Chidinma. Some of his songs have also been labeled as just entertainment songs for the lack of a Godly message in them.
5. L JAY MAASAI
The once quiet and soft-spoken singer started off on a good note, with his Maasai-inspired songs, and even won a Groove Award in 2015. But later on, he started hanging out with the likes of Willy Paul and his personality was somewhat tainted. He was accused of plotting to tarnish Bahati’s name and finish his musical career. Screenshots showed his number as one of the people on the plan including Willy Paul. L Jay Maasai was also accused of refusing to pay rent, forcing the owner to throw him out, then he went to live with a female friend. He also took shots at Bahati recently, saying he does not represent the gospel industry.