Ben Githae Biography
Ben Githae is a gospel musician whose most songs are in ‘Kikuyu’. He is popularly known for his son ‘Mlianza na Roho’ that won Kisima Awards.
Ben Githae Age
The famous Kikuyu gospel musician Ben Githae is in his 40’s.
Ben Githae Early Life
When young he used to sing as others were picking coffee. As he remembers once he heard a song, he needed to hear it just once more, to be able to memorize it all, without messing any word. “I think I loved singing more than I do today as then I was a fan today other people are my fans,” Githae told Kikuyu Musicians. At primary school, other children came so he could copy songs lyrics for them. That led him to be nicknamed ‘Karendiu’ (small radio) for his love of anything singing.
Afterward, he went to Ituro high school where singing took a backseat to act though he still sang traditional songs. “I was a very good actor and well known in Gatundu,” said Githae. After high school and getting a C+, his grandmother employed him, in her Posho mill as Githae explored his college options. Incidentally, another now famed Kikuyu Gospel Musician Jane Muthoni used to work with Githae in that Posho Mill. Jane Muthoni, has actually composed a song “Ciugo Cia Kanua” based on her experience working in that Posho Mill owned by Githae’s grandparents.
Ben Githae Education Background
Secondary school student at Ituro high school
Primary school student at Muthurumbi Primary School.
Ben Githae Wife
Gospel artist Ben Githae has uncovered that he undermined his better half for a long time with another lady, and they have twins together.
Talking in a broad meeting with Massawe Japanni, the artist said that he didn’t cheat since his marriage had issues, however, it was out of absurdity.
Githae proceeded to state that his significant other and relatives realized that he had an extramarital illicit relationship and got twins out of the undertaking, before the open got wind of what was happening.
He additionally said that they talked as a family and dealt with things.
“Siwezi sema ni lini nilitoka nje ya ndoa lakini wacha niseme kutoka nilitoka. Mpaka ifike hapo ilikuwa kwa miaka, mke wangu alijua kitambo na ikaleta issues at family level. Zingine tukatatua na zingine tukaamua kuishi nazo. Siwezi sema ati kwa familia yangu kulikuwa na issue ndio nikatoka nje wacha niseme tu ilikuwa ni tabia mbaya, ni msukumo tu wa tabia mbaya,” said Ben Githae.
The ‘Tabia Mbaya’ vocalist additionally denied cases made by his infant-mother that he requested that she have a premature birth after they understood she was pregnant.
Githae said that before the child’s mother opened up to the world about the issue, she had undermined the vocalist and the issue opening up to the world was a piece of the dangers.
Ben Githae Musical Career
In the era of mid-70s, the likes of John Ndichu of ‘Cucu wa Gakunga’ fame and later Mary Wambui, Mary Atieno, Shari Martin and the Kassangas in the 80s were musicians Githae admired. In primary school, he was the vocalist during school festivals. He also at an early age was involved in Kikuyu children radio programs at KBC hosted by Jemimah Mwaura like Nyihia Hwai. Those programs used to tell stories of Wangombe wa Ihura and Githae would also sing on them.
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Working there, did not dim Githae’s musical aspirations in the village he was known as Githae of carrying 1 who loves to sing and works in a Posho Mill. Carry 1 was his grandfather’s nickname. Then in 1994 he got born again and with Jane Muthoni they used to compose songs at the Posho Mill. They also began leading praise and worship in churches around Gatundu and got many invites. “But we were good according to village standards,” recalls Githae laughing. In 1995, Githae composed ‘Mwiri Uyu’ while Jane also composed the famed hit ‘Giagai na hinya mwi thiini wa Mwathani.’ He desired to record.
People advised him to tape himself in a cassette then, approach a producer with recorded material.
He approached Joseph Kamaru in 1996 with samples and Kamaru felt Githae could sing. As he had no money to record, all production expenses were shouldered by Kamaru. His first album ‘Mwiri Uyu’ was released that year. Githae remembers challenges for a budding musician then, wishing to have music receive radio airplay on KBC was that one had to go through known producers. Then it was the era of producers like Kamaru, Kassangas, Kimani Thomas and Wamaitu Productions.
Ben Githae Parental Resistance
The desire by Githae to be a musician wasn’t shared by his mom. Among the college options explored for Githae by his aunt was studying to be a teacher. There was also an uncle who could have connected him to study in medical college as a clinical officer. But Githae was adamant he wanted to be in music. This irked her mother, to thinking he was crazy. She would challenge Githae to be in a respectable dignified profession like a teacher or clinical officer, not a musician. He persisted on his stand and in 1996 released ‘Mwiri uyu’ produced by Kamaru.
“I didn’t earn much from the album, the terms were awful but all the same I became a musician,” said Githae. The agreement with Kamaru was that per cassette sold he would earn Sh10. However for him to start earning the Sh10 per cassette, Kamaru would first have to sell 2000 cassettes to offset his production expenses. Still he managed to sell the 2000 copies and started receiving the cash.
For his second album he approached Peter Kigia who had better terms. Kigia gave him a down payment and per cassette sold Githae would earn Sh20 since he perceived Githae would sell and had talent. There he released a famed Swahili album “Chunga Ulimi Wako.” In 2002 he decided to self produce and around then Kameme FM had launched so for Githae who was a household name taking his music there was easy. He released ‘Aganu no Marithira’ he would sell it in crusades and churches and also released ‘Ndathima’ album. In 2005 he released ‘Nigukwagira.’ But in 2006 Githae decided to modernize his recording from the River Road style.
Ben Githae Kisima Award
The next album was produced at an upmarket studio in Westlands. It produced a monster of Swahili hit ‘Mulianza na Roho’ that won Githae a Kisima Award. In 2007 he released ‘ona ageria niekuremwo’ album that had hits like ‘niwe unjikite uu Mwathani’ and ‘irathimo Ciakwa.’ The following year he released ‘Timiza Maono’ a Swahili album. In 2010 he released the famed ‘Mabataro Makwa’ album which was a crossover hit among various tribes in Kenya. In 2011 he released ‘kaba kwiyaria’ and ‘witue mundu’ albums the latter a wisdom for living hit. In 2012 he released ‘Tabia Mbaya’ album and his latest in 2013 is ‘Guthii ni Guthii’ with hits like jubilee.
Ben Githae Composing Style and Mabataro Makwa Influence
Being such a prolific musician, when composing Githae draws songwriting inspiration from situations he observes and the Bible. He also strives to make his songs relatable to everyday living. “Ultimately it’s GOD who gives me revelation,” said Githae. For his cross over hit ‘Mabataro Makwa’ he composed the song while on a plane from the US to London seated near an old white grandma from the UK. As he assisted her buckle and open a can of soda, the grandma would narrate to Githae of how rich she was, and properties she owned but not in a prideful manner. She told Githae, all she does nowadays is travel around the world to see her children and grandchildren.
As he flew from the UK to Nairobi inspiration for ‘Mabataro Makwa’ hit Githae and the song about him desiring to be blessed by GOD abundantly occupied him. In the song there is a phrase if GOD created the earth and heavens by his Word, fulfilling Githae’s needs is no big deal to him. When he landed in Nairobi he polished the song that subsequently became a de facto spiritual anthem to every Kenyan, with needs waiting on GOD to fulfill them.
For Githae, composing comes chronologically like a story with melodies in tow. But there are songs that are problematic that he at times has to rest when composing and resume later with a fresh outlook. “ But others take 20 minutes,” he said. He attributes the longevity of his songs to GOD’s favor and also writing messages that relate to people and are Biblical. He points to a song like ‘Mulianza na Roho’ to illustrate how that Biblical message he based the song on, as still relevant today.
Ben Githae Humility Amidst Fame
Regardless of the fame he has received, Githae regards humility as key to exaltation. “Don’t let the celebrity mentality get into your head you will become prideful,” he said. “Let your songs go up in fame and leave you down here as Ben Githae,” he adds. According to him songs are the hit not the musicians. Though piracy he admits has hit him, he says advances in technology have opened other avenues for earning through music like Safaricom’s Skiza tunes and ringtones. “Concerts and shows I perform in can’t be pirated and I can’t complain, GOD has blessed me,” he adds.
Ben Githae Memorable Performances
To date Githae cites 3 shows as his most memorable performances. The first was in Nyayo Stadium hosted by Kameme FM where on taking the stage, people left the stands and run to the pitch to sing. The other was in Nyeri during the launch of Kikuyu Bible where Kenya’s former president Mwai Kibaki was attending. As Githae recalls, the former president even stood to sing and sway to the music which is uncharacteristic of him. The last event was by Safaricom in Meru, where he was a supposed to be a curtain-raiser to the likes of Jaguar but he instead eclipsed them. “I went to that stage and the crowd atmosphere changed it gave me lots of joy,” Githae remembers.
Ben Githae Advice to Upcoming Artistes
His advice to upcoming musicians wishing to make it into the industry is to have their music professionally produced and aggressively push it to radio and TV. “Still it’s all about GOD’s favor and timing when it’s your time HE will make a way,” says Githae. Besides singing, Githae plays drums and by his humorous admission, is an amateur keyboard player who plays at events when no one else is available to play. He also prefers to sing live if instrumentalists are available than with playback.
For this father of two daughters, His faith in Christ guides him and has to coincide with his music to avoid misleading people. This year 2013 he turns 40 and is not ashamed to admit it.
Ben Githae Gospel Songs
- Kuhuthirwo Uru
- Tabia Mbaya
- Irathimo Ciakwa
- Ona Ageria Niekuremwo
- Maya Ni Mabataro
- Timiza Maono
- Glory to Glory
- Guthii Ni Guthii
- Witue Mundu
- Timiza Maono
- Vita Nyumbani
- Wendaga Nduike Mwega
- Mlianza Na Roho
- Fanya Kitendo
- Muingiria Mbia
- Tigai Tu
- Kaba Kwiyaria
- Muingiria Mbia
- Kunao Waminifu
- Oya Wendo Wakwa
- Kaba Kwiyaria
- Ucio Niwe Ngai
- Mere Makire
- Vile Usemavyo
- Timiza Maono ·
- Maya Maundu
- Ngai Ndacenjagia
- Nimarekwo Mendane
- Watoto Wana Haki
- Wee Niwe Ngwenda
- Kuhuthirwo Uru
- Ageria Niekuremwo