Gospel singer Papa Dennis, who was orphaned at a tender age, has opened up about struggles in his rise to stardom.
The Nashukuru hitmaker told Word Is that were it not for Jimmy Gait, with whom he recorded his hit song Makekes, he would have been a nobody by now.
“When I was starting music, all was not rosy. I used to stay in Umoja and worked at a local candle factory, where I earned Sh4,000. The amount was very little and could not sustain me. I could walk from Umoja to town or even Rongai just to record a song,” he told Word Is.
The singer said the second time the devil knocked on his door and made him feel like giving up was when he was attacked by a gang at his home in Eastlands.
“The first time I appeared in the papers after recording the Makekes audio with Jimmy Gait, I was attacked with a gang of 20 in Eastlands. They demanded cash from me. I was beaten and left for dead. I was supposed to go shoot the Makekes video in South Africa the following week and it’s at this point that I felt like giving up. I went into prayer and God fought for me,” he said.
The artiste is among the many who are talented and is a role model to many but he has blamed cartels, whom he says have taken over the gospel industry.
“Cartels are all over. They have their favourites and that’s why our music industry is not like that of other African nations. Also, artistes do not support each other. Most of them will not support you because they fear you’ll outshine them.”
“Most of the times people do things because they haven’t seen the light yet. That’s why I always pray for them so that God will guide them on what to do.”
Dennis rebuffed claims he has strayed after releasing songs with Nigerian superstar Korede Bello and Tanzanian songstress Ray C.
“I’m still a gospel singer. Ignore the rumours that I’ve switched to secular. A love song is neither secular nor gospel, it’s just about love. “
Is he planning to have a collabo with Diamond Platnumz or Davido?
“Kazi ikikuja tutafanya. Msanii ni kama footballer, ukiitwa uende mahali kucheza mpira utaenda. So haijalishi ni nani mnacheza na yeye. Mtu yeyote akija nipo tayari kufanya kazi,” he said.
Asked if he is dating, Dennis said: “I’m still single. I’m not in a rush. God’s time is the best.”
The young artiste has been performing in schools of late.
“Apart from spreading the gospel, I also encourage them to study hard because their parents and guardians are working hard to pay their school fees, unlike me who never had the privilege. After my mother died, life became unbearable and I just reached standard eight. And for those who are talented, to balance between education and co-curriculum activities,”he said.