Marion Shako – Worshipper, songwriter and award winning musician – Salon Business Solutions – August 2010
This month’s celebratory is an interview with Marion Shako, the award winner of Pwani song of the year, Groove award 2010. She is songwriter and award winning musician and what pleasure it is to hear her story. Read on!
Congratulations for bagging the Pwani song of the year at the Groove Awards 2010. How do you feel about that? Please tell us more on other awards that you have won.
Thank you I appreciate. Am grateful to Cod, that it has pleased Him to use me as he wills. I have won a number of awards which include the following:-
- Groove Awards 2008 for Worship song of the year and Songwriter of the year 2009 groove awards for Worship song of the year.
- Female Artist of the year coast awards, 2009
- Kisima awards nominee 2008/9
- Female artist East Africa and Female artist Kenya.
- 2009 Cellulant ringtone of the year for the song Ahadi zake. 2009
- Talanta Awards 2009 Best Female Artist (Non- US-Based)
What does this mean for your musical career?
Musicians appear in various roles; they play one or more musical instruments as soloists, accompanists like composers, ministers, performers etc. I am a composer and a minister of gospel music and as I grow in this industry I would like to use the talents that God has given me to train others with an aim of encouraging and developing their musical talents through instruction. I am also looking at career opportunities in publishing music and more so reading my wings to minister full time both locally and internationally.
Give us a glimpse into yourself: your family, education and musical career
I’m Marion Shako. A musician and songwriter, I am the youngest child of Mr. Aggrey and the late Mrs. Sylvia Shako. I have two brothers and two sisters.
My childhood was spent in Mombasa and from the time I was 10 years old I would prominently feature in the Sunday School Choir where my mother strived to take me every Sunday in my upbringing as Christian.
I had long harbored a desire to minister and serve God and it is in singing that I found I could without any inhibitions live in service to God. Having joined the Jesus Celebration Centre church choir in Mombasa Kenya, I consistently showed a passion to minister and later became one of the worship leaders in the church.
It was on this platform that I began writing my songs and I have gone on to produce an Album called “Msaada Wangu”. I also serve under Evangelist Teresia Wairimu of Faith Evangelistic Ministries.
Throughout my life I have continually poured myself to service, both in ministry and in community projects, attending to the needy. When I am not working, I write songs, read widely inspirational books and engage in social activities like swimming, and drawing strength from the Bible everyday.
I have a full time job as an administration secretary in Mombasa.
My first Album takes its title “Msaada Wangu” (“My Help”) from the Bible. It was through a difficult experience that I hang onto a prophetic word spoken into my life by a Prophet of God, that God would give my a new song that will change my life.
I am popularly known for my song “Ahadi Zake” which talks of the faithfulness of God, and that which He promised; he will bring it to pass.
Have you studied a course in music, if so, how has this enhanced your career as a musician.
No, I have not.
Have you always been a gospel musician?
Yes, I started off on gospel.
How do you ensure your spirituality and music are at par?
I have given myself to God as a living sacrifice; this means I live for God have humbled myself before Him and the service he has put in my life. I seek God, each moment, to be sensitive to be at the right place at the right time. I have learnt that my albums won’t take me far if I don’t sit under authority; which I do in my home church; and I believe that is my success factor.
What challenges have you faced so far as an artist?
Balancing work and ministry is not an easy task; it calls for discipline, obedience and commitment. I really have to stretch myself.
Have you traveled out of the country? What is the one place that changed your perception of life?
Yes. I have been to Sweden, Finland, London and Burundi and the response was overwhelming. I have been to the United Kingdom twice. It’s amazing that my music is already in Burundi. Burundi changed my perception, seeing their love for Cod despite the hard times the country has gone through.
How has your background contributed to the person you are today?
I started having long harbored desire to minister and serve God and it is in singing that I found I could serve God without any inhibitions. I continually poured myself to service, in ministry.
My desire to see lives transformed positively through the word of God through my music; to be able to reach people who are hurting; encourage them, impart healing, and most of all to dedicate their lives to living for God.
What does it take to compose a song?
Mostly I prefer using the word of God to compose a song, the word is powerful, and with life experiences and the testimonies combined.
How many albums do you have so far?
I have two albums and have just completed my 3rd one.
What would you call your musical genre?
Its both praise and worship, and done in English and Kiswahili
Why do you use vernacular and Swahili in your music?
My third CD has English, Swahili and vernacular. To reach out to everyone
How do you manage to keep such a great voice?
I tend to stay away from things that are irritating to my voice. I also do vocal training.
Who inspires you?
The word of God and life experiences.
Do you do make up on a daily basis?
Is there anything you do to your looks before a performance?
A little make up works for me.
Which public figure do you admire?
Definitely it has to be My Pastor Wilfred Lai and my spiritual Mother Reverend Teresia Wairimu
The passion and zeal they have for this gospel, their consistence in ministry in and out of season and their love for God. They have set a good example to me especially.
What is your most memorable moment experience on stage?
When I sing the Song Ahadi Zake, and I have everyone join in singing; looking at people’s faces at that moment is beautiful. It’s a picture that sticks in my mind.
What else are you involved in/with?
At the moment apart from my job and ministry I run a business that keeps me on my toes.
Is there some one special in your life (a love)?
Hahaha! Let me not answer that for now until the time is right.
What beauty regime do you follow on a daily basis?
I scrub my face at least twice a week and use foundation on special occasions. I also use a moisturizer, cleanser and powder my face daily.
What is your favorite colour /product?
My favorite colour is red and I like L’oreal products.
Who does your hair?
This depends on the style I want. My corn row lines are done by Esther Muruiri while Eva does my weaves and wigs. They are both of Sussie kays Salon in Mombasa.
What are your favorite accessories and why?
I love anything gold; it matches with most of my outfits. I do African accessories once in a while, to go with the African attires.
Where do you buy your clothes?
Mostly tailored made but when am out of the country I do get an opportunity to buy something nice.
Do you like hair color?
Yes. I do blonde
What is your definition of beauty?
Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.
Do you have a testimony you would love to share?
Oh yes. It was a struggle doing my first album, on zero finances. I had to use all my savings and they were not enough, and I remembered that God had spoken to me through a prophet that there was a song that would change my life and the lives of other people. It was not easy, I never asked anyone for money but God saw me through and the rest is history.
What don’t people know about you?
The witty side of me that will always cheer up people and have their ribs cracking.
What advice would you give to young upcoming gospel artists?
It’s all about patience and waiting on God for your talents to be manifested. Music plays a very important role in our everyday life; every song has a purpose and time in life. A composer has the ability to create a story in the listener’s mind in a way that can be much more emotionally compelling than any written or spoken languages can achieve. Hence the need to have songs that will build, educate, inform and motivate your target group to act and live positively It is important to sit under an authoritative figure. They should not be on their own. One must have some authority figure that speaks into your life gives you direction and cover. You should be available to serve and grow in your own home church.