Kenya: Artiste Atommy Sifa In Exile After Political Song

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  • Atommy Sifa’s song titled Uhuru Nyale (Uhuru is Capable), blames opposition leader Raila Odinga for ills bedevilling the Luo community. Sifa fled to Tanzania a week ago after he claimed his life was in danger.

I Was Paid Sh500K to Sing Song Criticising Raila, Claims Musician

Controversial Luo benga musician Tom Mboya Ang’ang’a, also known as Atomy Sifa, has claimed he was offered Sh500,000 by a Jubilee Party activist to sing a song criticising Nasa leader Raila Odinga.

Sifa had initially denied composing the song, instead insisting that he only appeared in the video.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Nation on phone from his hideout in Tanzania, Sifa said he accepted the offer because he was desperately in need of money to pay his daughter’s school fees and buy food.

The song titled Uhuru Nyale (Uhuru is capable) faults Mr Odinga for the ills bedevilling the community.

In one of the stanzas, he sings: “ Joluo ugaloru mojoga ubiro luwo ng’ani nyaka kar ang’o?   (Luos you should not be taken advantage of. Until when will you follow this man?)

HIDING IN TANZANIA

The song has so infuriated the community that Sifa said he was forced to go into hiding in Tanzania to avoid the residents’ wrath.

He said he was being hosted by a friend, eking out a living by doing menial jobs since he lacked a work permit to enable him to get meaningful employment.

“I was desperately looking for money to send my daughter to school and for food. I ask my Luo brothers to understand me,” he pleaded.

He narrated how he struck the deal that led him to sing the song which has angered Mr Odinga’s supporters.

Sifa said he had gone to record a song in a studio in Nairobi when he met a musician friend. The friend said he could help him make money by introducing him to “some good friends”.

He said he was later introduced to a Jubilee activist who broached the idea of him composing the song for money.

PAYMENT DISAGREEMENTS

Sifa said he later learnt some other Luo musicians had also been approached to perform a similar song but declined the offer following disagreements over payment.

One of the musicians, he claimed, had demanded Sh5.2 million while another had asked for Sh3.5 million.

According to him, he settled for Sh500,000 but he was only paid Sh40,000 and was still waiting for the balance.

“I had a deal with them and they gave me specific words which were supposed to be in the song,” said Sifa.

Sifa said he produced the song and later had the video shot at a hotel along Thika Road in Kiambu County.

PRAISE KENYATTA

He claimed that other musicians were also paid to sing songs praising President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Sifa defended his decision to sing the song, saying it had earned him money.

“I have more than 10 albums and I have composed more than five songs for Mr Odinga. What wrong have I committed by composing a song for Uhuru?” posed Sifa.

The musician said he was suffering in Tanzania and called on the government to give him a position in the Ministry of Culture and Arts so that he could promote the welfare of musicians in the country.

“Now that Kenyans have re-elected President Uhuru Kenyatta, I am asking him to consider me for a position,” said Sifa.

He added: “I am an orphan. My children and my band members are worried over my whereabouts.” Sifa said he feared for his life should he return to Kenya.