Pastor Joel Kimetto may well be the Kalenjin gospel music king.
But the campaign season has placed him at the center of a raging debate after he released a song endorsing the National Super Alliance (Nasa).
LOVE FOR NASA
The celebrated musician, who has several gospel hit songs in praise of Jesus and preaching peace for nearly four decades, released another irresistible tune, but this time in praise of the opposition camp, Nasa and its principals.
Its catchy refrain is “Kokeu keba Nasa” (the nation has shifted to Nasa).
This has irked some of his fans, who took to the social media to pour out their disappointment on grounds that it “was immoral” for the artiste to mix politics and the gospel.
“Did Kimetto just say baba tibim, baba tialala, instead of “praise the Lord?” Mocked a Mr Justice Ngetich on Facebook.
Mr Reuben Too said: “As a role model to Kipsigis gospel singers, Joel Kimetto shouldn’t have involved himself in partisan politics but he could have come up with songs touching on peace and cohesion.”
However, supporters of the “Kichigili” music fame came to his rescue, arguing that the man of the cloth should be left to use his talent as he desires, to “do his business” and “pay his bills”.
They wondered why people were quick to judge Mr Kimetto for the Nasa song while Rev Jackson Kosgey, who lost his Baringo senatorship bid in 2013, is involved in road shows, campaigning for the re-election of Jubilee Party leadership.
“Everyone thinks he (Rev Kosgey) is God-sent for preaching Jubilee and as soon as someone does the same for another party they are vilified.
“Hypocrisy of the highest order. Kudos Sir. Keep the music coming,” Mr Timothy Kemei, a fan, said.
“It is wrong to demonise Kimetto just because he was empowered by Nasa, something Jubilee did not do.
“Remember singing is his career too. That is where his offspring get daily bread,” another fan said.
But while secular artistes enjoy making money in the campaigns without public bashing, gospel ministers have been accused of trading their gift for money.
Among the gospel singers campaigning for the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto come the August 8 General Election is Kalenjin songstress and award winner Lilian Rotich.
Mwalimu Kendagor and Elvis Koech, known by his stage name Young Man, have been participating too.
Mr Kimetto could not be reached to comment. But in one of the social groups, he wondered whether the rage was all because he sang in praise of Nasa and not Jubilee.
He trapped his critics with a question on whether it would be appropriate for him to compose a song endorsing DP Ruto’s candidature in 2022.