As the principals of the National Super Alliance (Nasa) entered Uhuru Park on Thursday to thunderous cheers of the multitudes that had come to witness the unveiling of the coalition’s flag-bearer, the emcee of the day asked that a particular song be played.
It is a tune that many have heard during events of the opposition politicians and, even though organisers of the big event had a pool of tunes to choose from, this was selected as the most appropriate.
And so, Hellena Ken’s “Mambo Yabadilika” was played and the singer’s sultry voice reverberated through the stadium as the leaders arrived, providing a soundtrack for the momentous events that would unravel that day.
It was also the background tune at the most anticipated moment when the coalition’s line-up was unveiled by Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi, and Hellena Ken was there singing in person when Nasa’s logo was unveiled.
Hellena Ken is not your ordinary gospel artiste, as she stays away from the limelight as much as she can.
The Sunday Nation reached her on Friday and, although she was cheerful and accommodating throughout the two-minute call, she was categorical that she was not ready for any exposure at the moment.
“I promise we will do an interview one day. But for now, let us take it easy,” she said.
A search on the internet makes it clear that she is a very media-shy person as there is hardly a single article about her, save for interviews with Churchill Show and a brief chat with a local TV station in 2015, where she discussed the trouble she had getting her firstborn child.
“I fear you media people like I don’t-know-what,” she said during the Friday phone call.
Those who have interacted with Hellena say her humility is exemplary.
Entertainer Maurice Ochieng alias Mdomo Baggy, who has been the emcee of Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga for more than five years, says that Hellena is different from most artistes he has interacted with.
“She’s a very humble lady and I think the spirit of God is working in her. We were having a discussion at Uhuru Park after the rally and even she could not believe that this song could be used at an event that big,” Mr Ochieng told the Sunday Nation yesterday.
Having been behind the scenes of many events by the opposition coalition since 2013, Mr Ochieng has interacted with Hellena many times.
He said the singer has an arrangement with the opposition regarding performing at their events but could not disclose how much she is paid.
“She’s not jumpy like other artistes would like to be, with a lot of show-off,” he said.