Janet Otieno is one of the most Urban|Contemporary Gospel songstress everyone admires and speaks about. From Matatu galore airplay waves ringing your ears, energetic performances on live events and her smart look on her social life as seen in her daily posts. She has set a futuristic line to the upcoming likes in the Gospel industry who crave to do music with or as her. Her social media fame saw her official Facebook page @Janet Otieno get a verification badge owing to that majority with the even large following have not been verified yet. Means (If you see a blue badge on a Page or profile, it means that Facebook confirmed that this is the authentic Page or profile for this public figure, media company or brand. Keep in mind that not all public figures, celebrities, and brands on Facebook have blue badges.) according to Facebook. See and follow her other platforms to get updates and news on her musical journey.
However, Janet Otieno was a quiet girl in school. She was not known to interact more with her fellows particularly the boys. She was born in Kisumu, Kenya, the second oldest of six siblings. She was raised in a Christian *like majority of us* home which became the foundation of her musical journey. Her religious upbringing made her realize the passion she had to serve God through music.”My parents were staunch Christians, from an early age they made sure that I never missed any church service, they were always teaching me the importance of religion and God in our lives.” Janet notes. During her time as church choir member, in the local church, she attended, she more often leads the team. She would guide the congregation through powerful praise and worship sessions with her magnificent voice. This is when she realized she had a talent for music.
“I remember being in the church choir and I loved it. I was happy to use my voice to spread the word of God. There is no church service that can go on without music, and this is when I realized how much I love singing.” Janet says. She would write her own songs. With her religious upbringing and knowledge of the word of God, Janet was able to write down powerful songs that speak to people’s hearts. She discovered that God had not only blessed her with a voice but also with the skills to write songs. She knew that God was calling her for a purpose, and it was a purpose she was determined to fulfill. Her turning point was in May 2013, God brought Janet and Christina Shusho, a renowned Gospel artist from Tanzania, together. In collaboration, they recorded “Napokea Kwako” which became a major hit in Eastern Africa. This became Janet’s launching pad in the Gospel industry. And just that is how easily most of you came to get a taste of her voice.”After doing Napokea Kwako, I decided to continue as a solo artist. I knew I had just begun and God was expecting me to do more.” Janet adds.
With her unwavering faith and determination to serve God, Janet released yet another hit “Heshima”. A song dedicated to all mothers. She felt the need to appreciate all the mothers for the sacrifices they make in our families. Heshima became yet another hit that made Janet Otieno stand out. The song got a good reception from the public and it is among the most played songs in Kenya. The success of Heshima was not the end of her musical journey. She later recorded “Tembea nami” a song about asking God to walk with us and not leave us alone. It became a household song so much so you could even hear little children singing and dancing to it. When asked during an interview why she decided to record Tembea Nami she gave a heartwarming response.
Here are some of her other songs
- Napokea Kwako
- Mungu Baba
- Nafsi Yangu
Few things you did not know about her.
- Her favorite food is mashed potatoes and fish fillet while she dislikes ‘omena’ with a passion.
- She played netball as part of the school team.
- She loves to travel besides watching her favorite cartoons Tom and Jerry and Pink Panther and Pals.
- She loves classy outfits and ornaments- her favorite being Ginger Merry.
- She has no particular color – anything that looks good on her works for her.
- She loves taking pictures of herself everywhere she goes.
- Her love for gospel music begun way back as the pupil at Onyuongo Primary School, Kisumu County.
Upon completing her education Janet moved to Nairobi’s Embakasi estate where she lived with her uncle and secured a part-time job at an Oriental company within Embakasi – that specialized in making zips, belts, and peanuts and earned enough money to meet her basic needs. As a member of the church choir at the Redeemed Gospel Church Embakasi, where she fellowshipped under Bishop Abisai for many years. It was there that she met a man by the name Alfred Otieno who later turned out to be the love of her life, a husband and the father of her children. She describes her married life as one in a million, and the best thing that ever happened to her. “Ours has been a happy and peaceful marriage due to the fact that we have always let God take control of our marriage besides communicating openly, respecting, trusting and loving one another.” She attributes her ever young good looks to God.
Watch her latest Videos and Music on this Playlist: