By Prudence Minayo
The gospel industry in Kenya is alive and has been a springboard for a number of artists from neighbouring countries. From the late Angela Chibalonza to Solomon Mkubwa and many others. These artists wow Christians in Kenya with their vocal abilities and message laden songs. The Congolese born gospel musician based in Kenya is known for his uplifting songs that resonate well with those who practice the Christian faith.
Here is his inspiring story as told by WoK.
Solomon is the first born in his family. He got the name Mkubwa from three reverends, Mlebu, Kulu and Bwalide. Each of the three reverends ‘removed’ the first word from their names to form the name Mkubwa.
In a number of interviews, he has recounted how he lost his arm when he was 12 years. This was after his father married a second wife and there was a lot of jealousy and conflict leading to his step mother bewitching him. His arm just started swelling and afterwards it began to rot. After visiting a hospital to see what was ailing the young Solomon, the doctor decided to amputate the arm as there was nothing that could be done to save it.
Speaking to Radio Jambo in 2019, the gospel told Japanni Massawe:
“We went to a witch doctor as well but he was not able to heal me. By the time we went to a doctor, my hand was already swollen and had rotten and the only option was to cut it off,”
This was not an easy thing as it meant he would not be able to play music instruments but it did not take away his vocal prowess. For a long time he bore a grudge towards the step mother and promised to get his revenge one day but as he grew his relationship with God he learnt to forgive. In an interview with Citizen TV, he said he gave up his plan for revenge and forgave his step mother since vengeance belongs to God. He then sang the song ‘Nimewasamehe Wote’ (I have forgiven Everybody) as a way of sharing his testimony of forgiveness and helping others forgive as well.
The renown gospel musician is married with two children. He credits his wife for being very supportive of his ministry and also said in a past interview that she is very prayerful. According to multiple online sources, Mkubwa has two children.
Solomon Mkubwa is 42 years old.
The singer credits the late award winning gospel musician Angela Chibalonza who died in a road accident in 2007 as his mentor. They met around 2003 when she had gone to perform in a concert in Congo, where Solomon is originally from. At the time, all he had were dreams of becoming great and bringing his music to Kenya. When Angela went back to Congo for the second time, he had written an album ‘Sijaona Rafiki’ (I haven’t seen a friend) which he asked the late singer to help him get it to Kenyan producers.
Chibalonza told him she would pray and seek God’s will so that if he was meant to come to Kenya then he would. She got back to him telling the artist who was burning with ambition that he was meant to come to Kenya and that Kenyans would receive him well. This testimony was proved true as he moved to the country where he worked with Angela for about three and a half years.
He lived in the celebrated artist house and would sing as a backup whenever Angela had a performance. The late singer would encourage him and he was humble enough to listen as he received anointing from her. Sometimes Angela would let him perform in front of crowds and she paid for the first video of ‘Sijaona Rafiki.’
Later, he released the second album ‘ Mungu Mwenye Nguvu’ (God of Strength) the same week Angela got into an accident and passed away. From then on, he has released several other songs which have been a success, such as Mfalme Wa Amani (God of Piece).
Mkubwa has become a household name in Kenya. During the 2013 General elections, he performed in various political functions.
In an interview with Citizen TV, he advised upcoming musicians to work hard. The journey to success is not an easy one.
His song Mfalme wa Amani won three awards in Tanzania.
The singer has produced a number of songs including:
- Mungu Mwenye Nguvu
- Mfalme wa Amani
- Futa Machozi
- Usikate Tamaa
- Mungu Nitete
- Tuna Fia Nini
- Moyo Tukuza Bwana
- Mke Sio Nguo
- Uwe Nami
- Sijaona Rafiki Kama Yesu
- Chunga Ahadi Yako
- Nitayainua Macho
- Mimi Ni Wa Yesu
- Yesu Kimbilio
- Sema Neno Moja
- Habari Njema