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Our happily ever after

Evelyn Wanjiru is known for her inspiring and moving gospel songs. And despite making a name for herself in the gospel industry, she has remained the same down-to-earth girl her husband, Agundambweni Akweyu met 10 years ago. He tells us more

A gundambweni Akweyu is such a unique name

(Laughs) People say my name sounds West African and many of them think I’m Nigerian. But I’m a typical proud Kenyan.

Briefly describe Evelyn in few words?

She is an outgoing, hard working and God-fearing woman.

How did you two meet? Was it love at first sight for both of you?

We met in church. I had been transferred from Nairobi to work in Nakuru. I was in the process of looking for a church where I would fellowship. One Sunday, I was attending one of the famous churches in the town. On my way, I heard someone singing from a church next to the one I was going to attend. I changed my mind and attended that church.

When I entered, Evelyn noticed me as a stranger, at least that’s what she says. So for eight months, I attended the church, but we never said “hi”. I remember this afternoon after service I found her with her friend at the church. I called Evelyn by name and she was surprised that I knew her. That was the beginning of our relationship. For me, it was love at first sight, but I had to give it time to grow into a realistic mature love.

For how long have you known her and what is Evelyn like as a wife?

I have known her for 10 years; four years of dating six years and counting in marriage. I can confidently say she is a good wife. I would marry her over and over again. My wife makes me complete.

What was Evelyn like before joining the music industry?

She was that girl that had a dream to become who she is now and she has never stopped dreaming to always get to the next level of her music career. She’s still the same girl I met. Her zeal has been constant and she has indeed grown musically.

She is one of the top gospel artistes in Kenya. What keeps her going?

She is a strong and focused woman. As her husband and manager I ensure she withstands and overcomes all challenges that may come her way. We’re a team.

Speaking of which, you are her producer and you work with her. What is that like?

It’s interesting. I handle her like any other client in Bwenieve studio. At times when it calls for me to be tough, I do so rightfully. That way, we can achieve the best.

Were you prepared for the attention that comes with being married to a celebrity?

She was not a celebrity then, so I was not. But for now, I understand what her career entails, especially being a music producer, I withstand it.

She has previously talked about her struggle to get a child. Tell us more about this journey as a husband and how you have been supporting her.

We both believe God gives children and when the right time comes, we will still rejoice as we are doing now. Pressure from people is always there, but we have lived beyond that.

What sacrifices has she made for your marriage to work?

She always puts her family first. She is a submissive wife.

Who is her inspiration?

God first and anyone that is doing great music and teachings from life in general.

Who is that person who has influenced her most musically?

Darlene Zschech, one of the longest and consistent serving worship leaders.

What is her biggest fear?

To produce a mediocre song. Evelyn holds music, hers in particular, in high regard.

Who writes her songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of her songs?

Both of us. Her work revolves around different themes — there are those that focus on exalting God, others encourage people.

Talk to us about her musical milestones so far.

She has 35 songs so far, among them Mungu
Mkuu
, Tulia, which she did with Vicky Kitonga (2016 Groove Award collabo of the year) and Tunakuabudu. Evelyn also has three Groove Awards for Best Album of The Year, 2015, and her first in 2012 for New Artiste of The Year for Waweza. She also has three Xtreem Awards.

She has a great fashion sense and runs a fashion house. What can you say about the fashion revolution, especially in regard to Christianity?

Fashion is dynamic and every culture receives it differently. For some Christians, they don’t mind anything contemporary, but at the same time, a  majority of churches still advocate for a conservative dress code. I would say provided someone is decently dressed, it’s no big issue.

What is that one favourite closet item she loves?

There is this particular bag she uses a lot. Nowadays, I complain.

What else can we expect from her in the future?

Expect good music that will get to international level and more products.

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