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2018 has been a great year for them

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By GEORGE D. MWENDWA
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Music history is littered with rumour, myth, folklore and majesty that have all influenced the culture of our time. It has not been different this year and just like other sectors, 2018 has had highs and lows in the music industry with each player having a share of such moments. Here are some of the artistes who have had a big year:

His music career might not have looked as promising when he broke away from the duo Kelele Takatifu which was riding high at the time with several hits which included “Itakua Ngori” and “Bamba Mbaya” among others that had turned into anthems mostly among the youth.

Backlash was sure when he released his first song “Kuzitoka” as all fingers pointed at him as the one who had sabotaged the group.

His status at the beginning of 2018 read #YearOfBabaa and as sure as his word this materialised when his second release took to the media. He has received a lot of love and support both in Kenya and internationally where he has performed on several occasions this year. He has several hits to his name and has received bookings and major endorsements across the country. He was recently chosen as the second gospel Artiste to be on Coke Studio after Bahati.

Moji Short Babaa.

Moji Short Babaa. PHOTO| COURTESY
Jabidii

Unlike the norm that you need years of trial before you can learn the game and probably make a hit if you are lucky enough; his first release dubbed “Shoot Satan” was a major hit.

He narrates that he was at the very verge of giving up when a friend invited him for a project which he termed as his last attempt to book a place in the music industry. He closely followed this up with “Odi Dance” where he featured Hype Ochi and Timeless Noel.

It turned into an anthem with the young and old dancing to the song just days after release. He went on to release “Vimbada” alongside Moji Short Babaa which continues to receive massive airplay and requests to date. The crowning of it all would be when he scooped five awards out of the eight categories he was nominated in at the coveted Groove Awards.

Kenyan rapper Khaligraph Jones.

Kenyan rapper Khaligraph Jones. PHOTO| COURTESY

Popularly known as Papa Jones, his star has shone bright this year more than any other time of his career. The Yego hit maker landed a deal to work with internationally acclaimed American producers/rappers Rick Ross and DJ Khaleed.

This came after the rapper was awarded an endorsement deal with deal Luc Belaire Rare Rose, a French produced wine where he acts as the East African ambassador to the company. The rapper also endorses Erisstoff drink, Captain Morgan, Monster energy drink, Blaze among other top brands. He crowned it all by winning Best Rapper Award at AFRIMMA.

Pine Creek Records Founder Mr. Peter Nduati hands Amani G her record as her mother Christine Ambuso looks on.

Pine Creek Records Founder Mr. Peter Nduati hands Amani G her record as her mother Christine Ambuso looks on during the official deal signing held at the Capital club in Nairobi on July 13, 2018. PHOTO| COURTESY

She warmed hearts on social media when a video of her singing “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys started doing rounds.

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She was an ordinary class eight girl residing in a humble home at Githurai but her life and that of her family underwent a transformation when she landed a Sh2.5 million deal with Pine Creek Records. She recorded her first single “Sitasahau” followed closely by “In Love” featuring Vivian and most recently “Ni Poa” where she features Pitson. They all continue to receive warm reception from fans as she recently launched her first EP.

After years of great music in the gospel music scene he was at the verge of giving up and relocating abroad for “greener pastures”.

He mentions that it is around this time when the idea of “Nadeka” crossed his mind and he hurriedly pitched it to his producer Vicky Pon Dis. It was a hit upon release and this was the beginning of his stardom.

He bagged the male artiste of the year at Groove Awards, Maranatha Awards, won twice at Sauti Awards and most recently Xtreem Awards unapologetically. It’s only a matter of wait and see whether he will live up to such top accolades and the responsibility that comes with them.

Gospel artiste Guardian Angel.

Gospel artiste Guardian Angel. PHOTO | COURTESY

Nadia Mukami
Her career has been on an upward curve the whole of 2018 as it continues to open up for more opportunities. She got signed to Hailemind Entertainment after her first release and after her “Si Rahisi” single hit the airwaves; her career was off to a blazing start. She has been performing in major concerts countrywide and her music doing rounds on top media stations.

The Maseno University student has later released two more singles which have continued to enthuse fans. She is one of the newest entrants into Coke Studio Africa where she will be sharing the stage with top African acts.

Otile Brown
His name has been on almost everyone’s mouth for both the good and bad reasons but as they say; good or bad publicity is still publicity.

He started the year at a high note when he released “Chaguo la Moyo” alongside Sanaipei Tande which has continued to be an anthem to date hitting up to 10 million views on YouTube. Otile landed numerous endorsements and followed this up with several other hits.

This year he also fell into the love boat and rumour mills went into an overdrive that he was dating Vera Sidika the renowned socialite. Rumour was confirmed when he released “Baby Love” where the socialite featured in the video. Long before fans could welcome a new couple in town, their love affair went south in the most ugly fissure. Their names topped search engines and social media networks for a while and this seemed to be working in favour of their brands.

Singer Nyashinski

Singer Nyashinski

Nyashinski
After opening the year with “Bebibebi”, his star has not ceased to shine just as it did in 2017. He followed this up with several sensations including two hits alongside Sauti Sol namely “Short & sweet” and “Tujiangalie”.

He was later nominated for MTV Music Awards to compete against Nigeria’s Wizkid and Davido as well as South Africa’s Babes Wodumo and Nasty C.

He received countrywide support even from the President urging everyone to support Nyashinski to bring the award home. He was recently awarded with YouTube’s Silver Button Award for attaining over 100,000 subscribers.

As the curtain is now almost falling on 2018, his latest releases “Free” and “Finyo” continue to headline the top music charts attesting a greater ending for him.



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Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard

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Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.

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However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

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Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard

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President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

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Drastic life changes affecting mental health

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Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.

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Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

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