Ever since her engagement, sensational songbird Cecilia Wairimu, better known by her stage name Amani, has been missing from the music scene.
In fact, the last time she released a song was in March 2016, when she did a collaboration, “Bonbon”, featuring Congolese Lingala maestro Washington. The Daily Nation caught up with her at Nation Centre recently and this is what the sassy, classy singer had to say about her showbiz hiatus:
We’ve missed you, Amani, where have you been?
(Smiling) I’ve been up and about paper-chasing (looking for money). I took a music break to concentrate on building my business.
What kind of business?
I sell imported hair braids under my brand Amani. Business is a very sensitive venture that requires much of your time and monitoring. If you don’t do this, you risk everything going south.
Does it mean you quit music to engage in business full-time?
I can’t stop making music! This is something I have been doing for so many years. But, like I said, it too demands more time than I currently have. Apart from that, there is also family that has also made me slow down musically.
Speaking about family, the world knows you are engaged, so when are you walking down the aisle?
It’s a done deal, I’m already married. I’m someone’s wife now. I know many are waiting to see a wedding but I’m one very private person. That’s why you don’t see me doing interviews in my house or other intrusive stuff like that.
How would you describe your Nigerian husband Chinasa Udeala?
He is loving, caring and understanding. He makes me feel like a superwoman.
How did he propose?
(Laughing) Just like any man would do. On a day that I didn’t expect it, he took me out for a random dinner date and while at it, just the two of us, he went down on his knees and popped the question with this beautiful ring (showing off her finger).
Emmy Kosgei, Vera Sidika and now you — what’s with Nigerian men, is it about money?
Not really. I have dated men from different backgrounds from mine before. I will tell you this, a man is a man, doesn’t matter if he is Kenyan, Nigerian or not. It’s all about that one person whom you connect with, have a bond and chemistry for that matter.
Like Emmy Kosgei, will you also be relocating to Nigeria?
Certainly not for now. My life, our life, is here in Kenya. But when that time comes that I will have to move, I bet you will be the first to know
Last year you dismissed rumours winding the streets that you were pregnant, are you, now?
Hahaha! Really? No, I’m still not, but honestly, I feel it’s time I had a baby. I believe it’s the right time to get one and we are working on that.
You mean you don’t have a baby? Word in the street is that you had one with bongo flava star AY whom you have been raising secretly?
Why would I even hide a baby? Truth of it is that I didn’t and don’t have a baby with AY. Yes we dated a very long time about 10 years ago but it didn’t get to that.
Dou you guys still talk?
Yes we do, but occasionally. Everyone moved on, we have been cool.
Back to your husband, does he support you doing music?
Honestly, he doesn’t have a problem with me doing music. But I got to a point that I also felt that other than concentrating on my business, I needed time too for family. I needed to create enough time too for him.
Do you still get shows?
Ooh! Yes I do and lots of them, but times have changed. Before I accept any show nowadays, I have to consider where it’s going to happen for the sake of my business and family. Back in the day, I didn’t mind where the show would take me, even in the most interior parts of this country. But now, my priorities have greatly changed.
Sounds like you are sacrificing music for family and business. Or is it that you are not making enough dough in the music circles?
You getting it all twisted. There is as much money in music as there is in business. But like I had earlier stated, my priorities have changed now. I have been doing music actively for over a decade and have achieved so much both financially and recognition.
I haven’t and won’t stop doing music any time soon, only that I won’t be as active as I used to be because now I have switched gears to making sure I also excel in the two as well (family and business).
So what is next for Amani?
(Smiling) Let that be a surprise, just let my fans keep their eyes and ears open.