Sh20 million at stake: Bahati’s big bargain in holding concert for 20,00 people

  • He is planning to hold a one man concert for 20,000 people at Thika Stadium come New Year's Eve
  • The show will be one of its kind in the country and it is so huge that the Mama singer took a break off shows throughout December
  • Instead, he sat in closed door meetings with sponsors and partners. In this exclusive interview Pulse reveals Bahati’s Sh20 million big bargain

Gospel singer Bahati didn’t have many performances this holiday season. It is not only for the fact that he is newly-wed and staying home with family, with his wife Diana almost due with their first born. No.

Bahati has been strategizing about his 2018 take-over, a year he says will redefine his music career. And the Sunday New Year eve concert at Thika Stadium is his launching pad.

Early this week, the award-winning singer has been holding meetings with partners and sponsors in Nairobi, closing deals about his 20,000-man concert, a historical performance that would make him the first Kenyan artiste to pull such a move ever. It is not just a one-man show.

It is a ground-mover act of sorts that seems to go against the odds this during a night when the traditional gospel New Year events; Groove and Totally Sold Out are converging together in an effort to keep afloat.  

With his team, Bahati decided Thika is the place to be and now #EMBJesusParty is the gospel event to watch this New Year. And with like-mind partners in the entertainment industry; event organisers, deejays, dancers, musicians and the like; among them Betty Bayo, Rufftone, Ben Githae, Mr Seed, Size 8 and Wonder, Thika is set for a treat that will not only showcase music and dance but also a display of New Year fireworks.

Will this one-man show work as perfect as the Mama singer is analysing and for that matter change the perspective of who runs the gospel industry?

When he met Pulse mid this week, Bahati looked both exhausted and upbeat. He sounded ambitious, more ambitious than his forerunners whom with this he could be giving signals that he has come of age.

“I respect everything Groove has done for gospel awards and I thank God for all the opportunities. But it is now time for artistes to come up with their own shows and concerts. It is good for us to raise the standards. I want to host the biggest show ever done by a single artiste in the country,” he told Pulse.

“My plan is to fill a stadium with between 20,000 and 30,000 people. I know one might say that that is too ambitious and that I am simply dreaming but with God, all things are possible. I have faith that this will happen,” he asserts.

Asked whether he is doing this simply because the biggest gospel awards show, Groove Awards, has for two years running denied him a chance to participate in the awards even after releasing one hit after another and gaining national fame, Bahati says whatever he is doing is in line with his vision.

“Look, one thing people should understand is that I am not in war with anyone. I have no beef with Groove nor any individual. I have outgrown that now. I am on my personal path and this is part my vision. It is where I see myself being in 2018. This is just the start. I thank God that this is not about me but all the artistes and the sponsors like Kameme who are making this possible,” he said.

“The thing about the gospel industry is that many musicians have turned too mediocre. They want to do things to be seen and heard. Artistes have no plan on how to enhance their singing career and take it to the next level. They sit at home hoping that someone would call then up and offer them a concert. They release a song and leave it at the mercies of radio hosts and TV presenters to make it work. That is just wrong. This business must grow and for it to grow, we should have clear plans as artistes. We should own our act,” he remarks.

According to Bahati, the concert will bring the entertainment industry together and spur growth among its players.

“It is not about being a gospel or a secular artiste. It is about everyone doing their part and helping all of us grow. I look forward to working with everyone who is willing to work with me.

“This is one project that will cost me and my sponsors and partners a lot of money. I am talking about millions… many millions. You should see the budget,” he concludes on what Pulse later learned is a Sh20 million affair.