Gospel artiste Josephat Musoma aka Profesa attracted scathing criticism over his hard-hitting album and even cast out for joining politics. He talks with Elly Gitau about the ordeal, his stint in politics and comeback
You’ve been quiet for a while. Where have you been?
I took a break from music in 2014 to pursue my studies and political ambitions.
How was your stint in politics?
I began by constituting a lobby group, ‘The Makueni I Want’ movement, to play an oversight role and safeguard devolution in my county. My tribulations began when I was elected chairman of the lobby that agitates for social justice and human rights.
Dark forces of ‘tenderpreneurs’ ganged up with county officials to obstruct us. I then deferred my communication studies to engage in voter mobilisation. Afterwards, I served as Mwalimu Dida’s executive personal assistant and national administrator of his Ark Party, before unsuccessfully vying for the Makueni parliamentary seat on an independent ticket in 2017.
How was the reception from your fans and religious leaders when you went into politics?
I struggled to overcome the stigma from the Church and society. I lost some friends who felt that I was walking in disobedience of God by not heeding their advice to drop politics. I had to postpone my wedding plans after my fiancée returned my engagement ring and walked out on me.
After all, I wasn’t the only gospel singer influencing national leadership. Sarah-K, Cal and myself rallied for for Nasa. We still belong to the same gospel ministry team with the likes of Ben Githae, Rufftone and Ringtone who campaigned for Jubilee, but we never allowed ideological differences separate us.
Have you given up your political ambitions now that you are planning for a comeback?
I haven’t. I am multi-talented in a sphere of influence. I advise Christians to stop demonising politics and fight for space in governance. The fight against corruption can’t be won when the Church is in slumber.
What was your Holy War album in 2013 all about?
It was a series of rebuke tracks, which hit hard on public figures over explicit songs airing on media. Since the lyrics were subjective, it earned me a media blackout. It put me on a collision path with key industry players, especially presenters, DJs and artistes. I was labelled a hater, public noisemaker and an attention seeker.
Do you regret releasing it?
Not at all. One honest gospel DJ once told me he liked my music, but as much as it was good for the listeners, he would risk losing his contracts if he played my songs because they fought the trends. The industry is unforgiving, but I am neither relenting nor quitting. I don’t do music to embrace anyone. I am just a mouthpiece.
You are also planning for a wedding. When will it be?
I’m set to marry my fiancée of two years (not the one who left) in an invites-only wedding early next year, as well as my music comeback. I have already recorded a few songs.
Where does the plight of Kenyan youth stand?
As a singer, activist, politician and journalist, I feel the world is silent about bad leadership and gender discrimination. But I see a revival, an African youth uprising of sort. We’re going to use social media platforms to triumph. We are sowing seeds of peace and justice for all.