As the 2022 General Election approaches, a Kericho-based female artist has decided to travel across the six sub-counties within the region to preach peace and enlighten various communities on the importance of coexisting harmoniously.
Meet the bubbly Gladys Chemutai, a 45-year-old artist gifted in spoken word, poetry, and composing of songs that touch on everyday life of a common mwananchi. She says her mandate is to promote peace using her talents.
The mother of three intimates that in the last three months she has been able to traverse the entire Kericho County preaching peace to women groups and churches using her artistic skills among them poetry and songs.
Kenya News Agency caught up with her during a public function where she performed her well-known song “Peace to the whole world.”
Gladys narrated how her marriage collapsed and her struggles to make ends meet.
“I was previously married to a man in Marakwet but when things did not work out, I was divorced and left hopeless. But a few years down the line, I got remarried in Kericho where I currently live. Life has been very difficult for me after losing my job as a kindergarten school teacher,” remarked Chemutai.
Chemutai further disclosed that she had even tried her hand in business by starting a small Nursery School which operated for about two years but shut down due to financial constraints.
“These struggles I have grappled with in life made me artistic. I started writing songs and poems. I perform at various local events and my stage name is ‘Glado Endo the African shosh’. I am the defender of the young mamas” stressed Chemutai.
The self-proclaimed defender of young women, now also passionate about championing the rights of neglected single mothers, said, she felt compelled to consistently and aggressively spread the message of peace to ensure the struggling mothers and children live comfortably during and after the elections.
“Can you imagine the agony young single mother and children will encounter if the country goes to the dogs just like the 2007-2008 post-election violence? We cannot afford as a nation to have people in the IDP camps again because of the election.” Explained Chemutai.
The passionate artist who more often than not adorns herself in African regalia usually decorated with the colors of the Kenyan Flag described herself as patriotic, the reasons she says compels her to volunteer to speak and sing patriotic songs that promote national cohesion and integration.
Chemutai, who resides in the Brooke area on the outskirts of Kericho town was appalled by the report from the National cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) that termed Kericho County as a hotspot for violence during the electioneering period vowing to undo the myth by continuously imploring on residents ethnicity notwithstanding to coexist peacefully.
“So far, I have reached out to the people living in the Sondu area within the Soin-Sigowet Sub-County majorly populated by the Luo and Kalenjin communities and they have promised to remain united. I have also been to churches in Fort Ternan in Kipkelion West and I will continue going back to these places to ensure peace prevails,” insisted Chemutai.
Glado Endo the African shosh as she calls herself recently left audience mouth open at a public rally when she demonstrated her ability to speak and sing in not only fluent Kalenjin, Kiswahili, English, and Sheng but also fluent Kikuyu, Luo, Luhya and Kisii languages.
“My ability to be a multi-lingual is a result of integrating with people from all walks of life whom I have enjoyed their company and learned a lot from their cultures. So, I don’t understand why people fight each other due to tribal differences. We are one and we need to live in peace love and unity,” concluded Chemutai.
By Kibe Mburu and Jennifer Ambula