Tue. Oct 22nd, 2019

The Rift News

Clear and Accurate

From a Herd Boy to top Kalenjin Musician

3 min read
Pr. Joel Kimeto with his Great Commission Singers team

Pr. Joel Kimeto, the King of Kalenjin gospel, unlike other musicians has been hitting the waves for the past 40 years, bearing the mantle of the best and reputable artist entertaining, warning and educating the community.

To both young and old, poor and rich, respected for not only his artistic prowess, but also his rich lyrics in the Kalenjin language, capturing various topics ranging from political, cultural, social, and love ballads, anchored  in biblical perspective and  human interest.

The colourful musical career has seen him performed in countless countries and in State house where he often entertained the retired Head of State Daniel Arap Moi.

Besides the lessons carried by his hundreds of songs and his father figure that has nurtured many artists from across the kalenjin counties, his life history is rare inspiration.

Kimeto, 63, declined to say die, after when he dropped out of primary school after his broke parents could not raise his secondary school fee.

The African Gospel Church Minister is a prophet who songs are always viable to all generations.

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Though he began, his career during the analogue era of the late Kipchamba Arap Taboituk, Kimeto used every coin he earned to add value to his life knowingly that education and professionalism are the key pillars to success in every career.

When he dropped out of Primary school, he left his, Chepalungu home for Kericho to hunt for tea plucking job but he was denied for lack of National Identity Card.

When the hustle and bustle in Kericho became soar, he moved to Nakuru to take a herd boy job that he did until he secured a job at East African Railways Corporation that gave him muscles to enroll for Certificate of Primary Education, which he passed.

Being thirsty for education and urge to better his singing talent, he quit railway job to train as an evangelist at Campus Crusade for Christ.

Shortly, after, he registered for the Kenya Junior Certificate of Secondary Education (KJSE) and this permitted him to join the Kenya Highlands Evangelical University (KHEU), then Kenya Highlands Bible College where he trained in music.

 In 1974, the father of five sons got and married his life companion Agnes Kimeto, a woman he had earlier admired.

Five years later, he engaged in active singing and since he had prepared his first album set him a good base and so to all successive albums that have always got positive reception.

In his songs, Kimeto, biblical and practical perspective to teach audience on salvation, education, love and relationships, diligence, employment, leadership and healthy living.

Determined to complete his life’s passion, Kimeto, while approaching 50, enrolled for Certificate Course in Mass Communication at Daystar University Nairobi and this saw him promoted by the church as Director of Radio Injili where he served until 2013 when he retired.

The Famous South Rift has established that both Kimeto’s father Mr. Moses Kalya and grandfather Kipkalya arap Mochogor were popular musicians of their age.

Some of his albums include, ‘Rat Torosta’ a hip hop hit that he uses to warn young people of HIV and Aids caused by careless sexual behavior.

As young musicians want Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), the National Environment Management Authority (Nema), the Kenya Association of Music Producers (Kamp) and the Performance Rights Society of Kenya (Prisk) to help them fight piracy, Kimeto says music has handsomely paid him enabling him to educate his children and establish different investment projects which include GRECOM production studio in Kericho.

Some of his albums include: Mwaiwek , Kichigili, Wolowoli, Uro, Yososin, Ombeni , uro, Tule and many others.

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