Rueben Kigame is a celebrated gospel artist and apart from his uplifting music, his hard work and dedication towards the industry cannot go unnoticed.
Despite being blind, Kigame has not let anything stop him from achieving what he puts his mind to and he has proven that with a musical career that spans over 32 years.
Some of his popular songs include, bwana ni mchungaji wangu, enda nasi and huniachi.
Despite his success, Kigame has been through a lot in his life as a person living with disability. In a long post seen by Classic105.com, the artist wighed on the challenges he has had to endure in order to make it as a blind man in Kenya.
Kigame narrates how he applied a job back in 1987 only to be turned down because he was blind.
He also goes ahead to narrate one incidence where he went to shop for wedding rings only to be treated unfairly by the jeweler, with the notion that he could not afford a decent wedding ring, only for him to walk away with the most expensive rings at the shop.
Read his conversation with the jeweler in part,
I insisted, “Do you have any others?”
“Yes, but they are quite expensive, like diamond, gold, mixed, pure, many, many, many.” He walked away again.
“I want a pure gold ring,” I said.
He was quiet. I repeated myself. He then just said, “They are very expensive.”
To cut the story short. I ended up buying the most expensive rings he had left and I could hear that I was the talk of the street as I left, shocked.
If that’s not enough, Kigame highlights the struggles he faces when dealing with churches. He says there was a time he was booked to perform in a church concert alongside Tanzanian musicians.
What is absurd is the fact that the said church was willing to pay Tanzanian musicians over Sh200,000 but pay him a mere Sh20,000 as fuel money to and from Eldoret. Mind you he went to minister with a team of 25 to 30 people.
Perhaps the saddest of all my struggles as a blind man in Kenya is with the Church. He says.
I know churches in Nairobi by name that are prepared to pay Tanzanian musicians kshs200,000 or kshs300,000 for a concert, and the musicians will come and sing over a Cd, merely showing their faces, but when I come to minister with a team of 25 or 30 people, I am given twenty thousand Kenya shillings for my fuel to and from Eldoret and for the transportation of the rest of the team.
Kigame goes on to open up how he has been swindled money by various people in the country who go on to ‘wallow in untold riches’ as he struggles just to raise enough to go to school.
Buried in thoughts, the artist goes on to state that he has been tempted to leave Kenya for those who deserve it more than him. He pledges with people who has made his life a living hell to not do it to others who are living with any disability.
One day, most of these who avoid me now, will hear I have died. Then they will rush to form WhatsApp groups to raise money for themselves, say I used to write good songs or even buy me a nice coffin that looks good on cameras so that it can be said they honoured me and gave me a good send-off. If I do go before any of you, please save your monies. There will be plenty to eat from my music and books, anyway, after I am gone with nobody to stop you.