Amani whose real name is Cecilia Wairimu was born on 28 November 1980 in Thika. She is a Kenyan pop, R&B singer and songwriter. She made history when her together with other African singers collaborated with R Kelly for the song ‘Hands across the world’.
Amani Education Background
She attended Moi Academy in Thika fior her primary education. She later joined Bishop Gatimu Ngandu Girls High School for her secondary education. She has a Bachelors degree in International Business Administration majoring in marketing from the United States International University.
Amani Music Journey
While in high school she was in music clubs and part of an accapella group ‘Sobriety’. In 1999, soon after graduating from high school, she signed to Ogopa Deejays and started producing her music.
Her 2002 collaboration with Nameless ‘Ninanoki’, was a major national hit.Her later singles include “Talk to You” (featuring Patonee and Big Pin), “Bad Boy” (featuring Nyashinski of Kleptomaniax), Usiwe Mbali (featuring AY), “Tamani”, “Missing My Baby” and “Tonight”.
She is currently the brand Ambassador for Airtel Kenya.Her debut album Tamani was released in 2006. She has toured in the United States, Norway, Germany, United Kingdom, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda and performed in Dubai, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Liberia and Djibouti.
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She signed with Sony Music under Rockstar 4000 (2010). She recently worked on a ground-breaking song with International R n B singer R. Kelly alongside top African stars like Ali Kiba, Navio, Fally Ipupa, 2face Idibia, JK, 4*4 and Movazeleine. The song titled “Hands Across the World” made it to the billboard 100 and had over 1 million downloads in Africa.
- Kiboko Changu
- Bon Bon
- Heart Attack
- Kizungu Zungu
- Bad Boy
- Without You
- Talk to You
- Usiwe Mbali
Amani Awards and Nomination
- Best Female Artist, chaguo la Teeniez Award in 2002
- Best Kenyan Female Artist, Pearl of Africa Music Awards, 2006
- Best East African Song “Missing My Baby” ,Tanzania Music Awards, 2008
- Best East African Song “Missing My Baby”,Channel O Music Video Awards, 2008
- Best R&B Video in Africa “Missing My Baby”,Channel O Music Video Awards, 2008
- Best Female Video “Tonight”, Channel O Music Video Awards, 2009
- Best R&B Video “Tonight”, Channel O Music Video Awards, 2009
- Video of the Year “Tonight”, Channel O Music Video Awards, 2009
- Best Collaboration “Kiboko Changu” featuring Radio and Weasel, MTV Africa Music Awards 2014
- Female Artiste of the year,2006 Kisima Music Awards.
- Collabo of the year “Bad Boy”, Chat Awards,2006
- Favourite Song, Chat Awards,2006
- Favourite Collabo, Chat Awards,2006
- Boomba Female, 2007 Kisima Music Awards
- Best Female Artist (Kenya), Pearl of Africa Music Awards (PAM Awards),2007
- Best East African Song “Bad Boy”,Tanzania Music Awards,2007
- Best Female, MTV Africa Music Awards 2009
- Pure and Natural Most Inspiring Young Woman 2010.
- Pearl of Africa Music Award-Best Female Artist 2010
Interviewer: We’ve missed you, Amani, where have you been?
Amani: (Smiling) I’ve been up and about paper-chasing (looking for money). I took a music break to concentrate on building my business.
Interviewer: What kind of business?
Amani: I sell imported hair braids under my brand Amani. Business is a very sensitive venture that requires much of your time and monitoring. If you don’t do this, you risk everything going south.
Interviewer: Does it mean you quit music to engage in business full-time?
Amani: I can’t stop making music! This is something I have been doing for so many years. But, like I said, it too demands more time than I currently have. Apart from that, there is also family that has also made me slow down musically.
Interviewer: Speaking about family, the world knows you are engaged, so when are you walking down the aisle?
Amani: It’s a done deal, I’m already married. I’m someone’s wife now. I know many are waiting to see a wedding but I’m one very private person. That’s why you don’t see me doing interviews in my house or other intrusive stuff like that.
Interviewer: How would you describe your Nigerian husband Chinasa Udeala?
Amani: He is loving, caring and understanding. He makes me feel like a superwoman.
Interviewer: How did he propose?
Amani: (Laughing) Just like any man would do. On a day that I didn’t expect it, he took me out for a random dinner date and while at it, just the two of us, he went down on his knees and popped the question with this beautiful ring (showing off her finger).
Interviewer: Emmy Kosgei, Vera Sidika and now you — what’s with Nigerian men, is it about money?
Amani: Not really. I have dated men from different backgrounds from mine before. I will tell you this, a man is a man, doesn’t matter if he is Kenyan, Nigerian or not. It’s all about that one person whom you connect with, have a bond and chemistry for that matter.
Interviewer: Like Emmy Kosgei, will you also be relocating to Nigeria?
Amani: Certainly not for now. My life, our life, is here in Kenya. But when that time comes that I will have to move, I bet you will be the first to know
Interviewer: Last year you dismissed rumours winding the streets that you were pregnant, are you, now?
Amani: Hahaha! Really? No, I’m still not, but honestly, I feel it’s time I had a baby. I believe it’s the right time to get one and we are working on that.
Interviewer: You mean you don’t have a baby? Word in the street is that you had one with bongo flava star AY whom you have been raising secretly?
Amani: Why would I even hide a baby? Truth of it is that I didn’t and don’t have a baby with AY. Yes we dated a very long time about 10 years ago but it didn’t get to that.
Interviewer: Do you guys still talk?
Amani: Yes we do, but occasionally. Everyone moved on, we have been cool.
Interviewer: Back to your husband, does he support you doing music?
Amani: Honestly, he doesn’t have a problem with me doing music. But I got to a point that I also felt that other than concentrating on my business, I needed time too for family. I needed to create enough time too for him.
Interviewer: Do you still get shows?
Amani: Ooh! Yes I do and lots of them, but times have changed. Before I accept any show nowadays, I have to consider where it’s going to happen for the sake of my business and family. Back in the day, I didn’t mind where the show would take me, even in the most interior parts of this country. But now, my priorities have greatly changed.
Interviewer: Sounds like you are sacrificing music for family and business. Or is it that you are not making enough dough in the music circles?
Amani: You getting it all twisted. There is as much money in music as there is in business. But like I had earlier stated, my priorities have changed now. I have been doing music actively for over a decade and have achieved so much both financially and recognition.
I haven’t and won’t stop doing music any time soon, only that I won’t be as active as I used to be because now I have switched gears to making sure I also excel in the two as well (family and business).
Interviewer: So what is next for Amani?
Amani: (Smiling) Let that be a surprise, just let my fans keep their eyes and ears open.
Source: Daily Nation