By Ogova Ondego
Published August 1, 2015
A secondary school teacher who started recording gospel music in 2008 as her tribute to Angela Chibalonza Runiga,whothe then Nairobi-based CongoleseÂ Gospel musician who had perished in a motor accident in Kenya in 2007, holds a pre-launch concert of her fifth album in Nairobi on August 2, 2015.
Geraldine Akinyi Oduor, the teacher of Chemistry and Biology had in 2010 told ArtMatters.Info that she had been singing but not recording her sacred music; that she had ventured into gospel music recording in 2008 in order to carry on, in her own way, with the Praise & Worship ministry in which her icon, Angela Chibalonza, had served.
Oduor is now collaborating with her Tanzanian friend, Christina Shusho, on a 10-track album that shall be unveiled at the concert dubbed Eastlands Gospel Festival/Album Pre-launch with Geraldine Oduor and Christina Shusho and held at Christ Is The Answer Ministries (CITAM)’s Nairobi Pentecostal Church in Buru-Buru from 3.00 PM. Admission charges are Sh500 per adult and Sh200 per child.
This concert, Oduor says, shall also serve as a pre-launch event through which friends, partners and the media will listen to the album ahead of its launch later in 2015.
Titled Ametukuka (Heâ€™s Exalted), Oduor says it is a 10-track compilation that, as is her custom, carries a song in Dholuo called Sibuor or Lion as Jesus Christ is the Lion from the tribe of Judah.
“It’s mainly a worship album. Being a worshipper, I set out to do a more worship-oriented album as that’s what God called me to do: lead people into His presence through undiluted worship,” Oduor says. “This is the ministry I have served in for a good part of my life.”
So what is unique about her Ametukuka album?
“I am so very humbled and honoured that in this new work I have featured Mary Atieno Ominde, she of the hit song, Adam na Eva (Adam and Eve). I have done two songs with her” Geraldine Oduor says. “We wrote the song, Utukuzwe (Be Honoured), together.”
Saying “I had to sit under her to get the secret, a thing I have desired for over two decades,” Oduor not only describes Mary Atieno as “an amazing woman of God [who is] full of the Word of God” but also says she considers her a “mentor, legend and role model in the ministry.”
Oduor says she also collaborated with a Congolese singer whom she describes as a “born worshipper” on Anaweza (He is able or he can), a song she says she wrote.
“I thank God for divine connections. I believe all these songs will minister and change people’s lives.
So far I have released the worship song, Hakuna kama Wewe (Thereâ€™s None Like You), that is already trending on YouTube,” she says.
After the Eastlands Gospel Festival/Album Pre-launch with Geraldine Oduor and Christina Shusho event on 02.08.15, Oduor says she intends to host a special ‘Album Listening Party ‘ for a small group of people with an ear for music.
“Their main work will be to sit on a round table, listen to and critique the music so we may make any necessary changes before the launch of the album towards the end of the year,” Oduor, whose albums–except for Dongo Dongo that has been done by Billy Frank–have been produced by Abeddy Ngosso of Gamba Studios.
So which are the five albums Geraldine Akinyi Oduor has recorded?
“My first album, recorded in 2008, is Damu Ya Yesu (The Blood of Jesus),” she says.
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“The second recording, done in 2009, is Mungu Wa Biblia (God of the Bible). The Lord used used album to open several doors for me. It was well received in Kiswahili-speaking Tanzania where the song, Ndoto Yangu (My Dream), was a hit. I got to minister in several towns in Tanzania where I was to later meet gospel singer Christina Shusho whose simplicity and down-to-earth nature impressed me,” Oduor says. “We became instant buddies as there was some divine connection between us.”
Saying Shusho “was to later reveal that she admired my zeal for God and honesty,” Geraldine Oduor says she and Shusho went on to record her third album, Neno Lako (Your Word), in 2011.
The fourth album, also released in 2011, was an 8-song recording in Dholuo titled Dongo Dongo (Big or Great).
“I wanted to try out a whole recording in Dholuo to explain the great and miraculous things that the Lord does in my native language,” Oduor says.