By Prudence Minayo
Daddy Owen is an award winning Kenyan musician who focuses on contemporary gospel music. He has released a number of songs, some of which have been major hits in the country. Daddy Owen has a total of five albums, namely, Haijaisha, Vanity, Son of Man, Saluti and System ya Kapungala.
The song Saluti was nominated for the Groove Awards in three categories and won all of them. He also won male artist of the year in the 2009 and 2011 Groove Awards.
While he is so successful in his career, his life has been a mixed bag of ups and downs. After failing to get tertiary education, he moved to Nairobi where he was a tout and doubled as a pickpocket. A near death experience with the mob made him turn his life around and left him with an eye scar which he conceals with glasses
He was born in 1982. His real name is Owen Mwatia.
Education & Early Life
Daddy Owen was born in Kakamega, the Western part of Kenya as the second born in a family of four brothers and a sister. His elder brother, Rufftone, is a well known Kenyan gospel musician who played a motivational role in Owen’s career.
The successful musician attended Eshihiru Secondary School. His family was not well off, therefore, he could not afford to pursue further studies. Like many other young people who are unable to pursue further education and want to make it in life, he traveled to Nairobi.
Life in Nairobi was not easy for the singer. He worked as a matatu tout and the earnings were not enough to sustain his needs and help out his family.
When many people move to the capital city, they have dreams of making their lives better. Most get frustrated when life gets harder and some resort to petty crimes to survive. Unfortunately, most end up dead due to mob justice. Daddy Owen would have been just another statistic. When he resorted to petty crime to try and supplement his income, he was almost lynched by a mob. He had previously confessed that he used to pick pockets in downtown Nairobi until one day in the blink of an eye he was surrounded by a mob, beaten mercilessly even as someone poked his eye with a sharp object.
This was the turning point in his life. He spent a number of days in Kikuyu Eye Hospital and was left with a scar.
Daddy Owen loved music even while still in high school. He was able to sing a number of songs but recording was a huge problem, since he was from a humble background and could not afford it. He has often credited his brother Rufftone for assisting him pursue his music career.
In 2004, he released his first album, Haijalisha. From then, he has been releasing hit after hit. Some of his well known songs include:
- System ya kapungala
- Kazi ya Msalaba
He has a total of five albums and is one of the most popular contemporary gospel musicians in the country.
The award winning musician married the love of his life, Farida Wambui Kamau on Saturday, 2nd April 2016 at Kenya Assemblies of God (KAG) church in Buruburu.
The wedding was an elegant invite only ceremony where Dr. Ofweneke and Dunco acted as emcees. Popular celebrities attended even as Mercy Masika and Sauti Sol gave amazing performances. The groom’s best man was his brother Rufftone and the wedding was such an amazing ceremony.
The couple met in 2012 at Java Coffee house.
On a number of occasions since then, they have publicly declared their love for each other. This is why it came as a shock to many when rumors of a separation hit the blogs and social media pages. Some claimed that Farida had left him for a wealthy tycoon. Others also claim it is just a publicity stunt which many celebrities have done before.
He cemented the rumours that all was not well in his marriage after he deleted photos of his wife on his Instagram page.
It is alleged that Farida even got engaged to a tycoon from Gilgil.
“Farida is secretly engaged to a tycoon from Gilgil who owns a luxury hotel. Daddy Owen only got to find out she was engaged through pals. The ostentatious engagement ceremony was hosted in Naivasha,” a source disclosed.
In response to these rumors, Daddy Owen thanked those who have always supported him and thanked everyone who had reached out with messages of encouragement.
“I want to take this opportunity to issue an official statement. Thank you all who have reached out to me in one way or another over the last few days with prayers and encouraging words of support following news circulating in the media involving me and my family,” he was quoted by The Standard.
The singer further added that God encourages people to rejoice in all seasons and requested people for time, patience and prayer just as they have always supported his ministry.
He is also a father to a son who has been kept out of the limelight.
The contemporary gospel musician is big on charity. He launched the second chance campaign in 2012 to help women dealing with cervical cancer and create awareness by encouraging others to go for screening. Owen is also the founder of Malaika Awards. The award seeks to honor artists who have disabilities. Another campaign launched by him is the Macho Macho which was to help people with eye problems in Kakamega.