Ruth Matete (born in 1986) is a Kenyan musician who was born and partly raised in Kakamega county. Her journey through life has not been an easy one. Life has dealt her many blows but through it all she has emerged strong. The gospel artist lost her husband in 2020 and as she was mourning the father of her daughter, rumours started swirling around that she had orchestrated the murder of her husband.
The musician is 35 years old.
Her parents were still in high school when Ruth was born. Her dad proceeded to university while her mother got married. Ruth lived with her mother and step-father, the latter was a drunk and abused them physically. At the age of 8, she finally met her dad, Abel Amunga -who was married at the time-and went to live with him. Her step-mum was also abusive.
One memory that still lingers in her mind to date is of the step-mum beating her with a ‘mwiko’ (cooking stick) till it broke. One day, her step-mom just packed her belonging and left. Her father decided not to remarry and instead focused all his attention on raising her. Amunga, who is a veteran actor, nurtured her daughter’s talent in music from the age of 10. He became her coach and mentor.
Ruth joined school at the age of 8 when she went to live with her father. Luhya was the only language she knew at the time. They had to engage the services of a teacher from her tribe until she learnt Kiswahili.
She went to the following schools:
Primary – Dr. Kraph and Uhuru Primary School
Secondary – Maasai Girls High and St. Paul’s Erusi High School
University – Daystar for a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication
While at Daystar University, she Joined a group that did music tours abroad and travelled with them. In 2011, she came back to Kenya, moved out of her father’s house and tried out for Tusker Project Fame (TPF), one of the biggest music talent show in East Africa at the time. She wowed the region with her vocal abilities emerging the winner. Matete was never on probation but towards the end Judge Ian kept her on probation, not because of poor performance but because he wanted to hear her vocals once again.
Life after TPF
Before TPF, she was part of the worship team in church but after the competition she wasn’t welcomed back. Nobody prepared her for the scrutiny that would follow. Everything she did, including giving 10% of the kes5 million prize money she won as tithe to her church, was criticized. The vocalist went on to start a music school that offered a 3 months course to people not able to afford expensive schools.
Former Tahidi High actor, Prince Tsyder had a relationship with the star that ended in 2014. She found love again with a Nigerian man.The two dated for almost 3 years before deciding to take their vows. In 2019, the TPF winner got married to her lover, pastor John Apewajoye alias beloved John, in a private colorful garden ceremony. The ceremony was attended by close family and friends.
The couple seemed happy and on several occasions expressed their joy publicly.
After a blissful one week into marriage, the preacher appreciated the fact that they never gave up on each other:
“I am so glad we never gave up on each other. I remember how you fasted and prayed for 40 days because of me.”
Beloved John’s death
The gospel singer wrote to close friends explaining her plight and requesting
assistance. Beloved John had gotten into an accident involving a gas cylinder and was in ICU. She also mentioned her pregnancy which was at the time in the first trimester and confessed to being stressed. In the message, shared on WhatsApp, she said the family back in Nigeria was yet to be informed because she wanted to make sure her husband is okay first.
There is nothing they could do from there and travelling was impossible due to the pandemic. She further pleaded with them not to share her late husband photos while he was in hospital. On 10th April he succumbed to the injuries. Ruth confirmed the news by writing:
My Husband Beloved John Apewajoye has gone to be with the Lord…I humbly ask for your prayers during this difficult time.
Many people expressed their sympathies including Kenyan celebrities, such as, Talia Oyando, Milly Chebby and Michelle Ntalami. Their hearts went out to a woman who had lost a husband only 5 months into their marriage.
While many were showing sympathy, a man called Jesee claiming to be John’s manager came forward to accuse Matete of murdering her husband. Jesee says that the marriage was not as rosy as people thought because Ruth was violent towards her husband. He further accused her of once stabbing her husband and called for a post-mortem before the burial. He further implied of her unstable mental health and accused her of getting money from people without giving facts.