Erick Omondi, a Kenyan musician living in South Korea has released a new single and video urging Kenyans to shun violence and vote peacefully and wisely at the next general elections scheduled for 4th March 2013.
In an exclusive interview with Pauline Long, Erick said he composed the song “Round Hii” to preach to all Kenyans including politicians, a message of peace, love and forgiveness.
“Peace is the only way out,” he says in “Round Hii” which is a Kiswahili phrase meaning “This time around.”
The tall, dark handsome international model and singer also shared with Pauline his journey to stardom.
This is what Erick revealed candidly….
Who is Erick?
A model, performing artist and an entrepreneur.
What is life like living in the Diaspora?
Life in the Diaspora has both advantages and disadvantages. I am able to compete internationally. I have also met so many good people from various parts of the world.
Technology is also advanced here in South Korea making it easy to run errands. On the other bad side, I always miss Kenyan food. At times I face prejudice and racism from few people who have refused to agree with the fact that we are all one family under God.
How did you get into fashion and music industry?
I started singing and composing songs when I was a young boy. I had a dream of becoming a musician one day. However, due to many challenges in life, this dream has not been easy to achieve. I got into fashion industry in 2006 while I was based at the Kenya National Theatre pursuing my acting career. When I moved to Asia in the late 2000, I found the industry here much promising.
I learnt the Korean Language and culture in order to be able to communicate easily. I also visited various agencies here who guided me on how to go by this business. I have since been on most runways including Seoul Fashion Week which was in Spring. I have also done both TV and print commercial advertisements. I am one of the current Vino brand models for Fall and Winter collection.
Some of the experiences both bad and good have compelled me to venture into my singing talent. I will use music to speak my mind and help address the issues affecting the society.
What is it like to juggle the two?
It has not been a piece of cake especially with music. It needs a lot of time, courage, money, patience and training. I am lucky to have great people around me that are always there for me especially my wonderful wife. God has been so great to me too when trying to do all these.
Where do you call home and why?
Kenya will always remain my home. It is a wonderful country that has so many good things. South Korea has also helped me achieve a lot in my life. Being here has enabled me to meet amazing people that are more like a family to me.
Your new single is getting people definitely talking, what inspired you to write it?
I was inspired by the death of over 1,000 people and several others internally displaced after the 2008 post- election violence in Kenya. Tribalism was and is still one of the major factors that led to the violence. I wanted to add my voice to the issue of tribalism.
Are you into politics?
I am not into politics but always concerned about leadership.
Do you think Kenya has moved on from hate campaign?
With the current hate speech we see on TV from some politicians and other individuals, I think the hatred campaign is still there.
What are your final words to Kenyans?
If we do not shun tribalism and hatred then we will still lag behind. We must vote in good leaders who are ready to develop Kenya and help kick away poverty.
Kenya has all the resources that can help develop it if well managed. We must also respect life and always keep in mind that two wrongs never make a right. We must never use violence to solve our problems but amicably look for better and lasting solutions. With peace, love and unity, we will achieve a lot. God bless Kenya.
By Pauline Long