Quick facts

Name

Dr. Grace Namwamba (née) Grace Nanjala Wasike

Parents

Patrick and Martha Wasike

Husband

Dr. Fulbert Namwamba

Home town

Bungoma, Kenya

Occupation

Professor, Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, La.

Current residence

Baton Rouge, La.

Church

Christ the King Christian Center, Baton Rouge. (Pastor: Chibuike Azuoru).

Grace Serves at the Minister of Music at CKCC

 

 

 I have been a devout Christian since childhood, thanks to my (maternal and paternal) grandmothers. Both were God-fearing women who taught their children about God. My maternal grandmother Rispah Nabalayo, and my mother Martha Wasike, had a strong influence on my faith, as they both emphasized prayer and  church activity.

 

My best friend’s mother, Lucy Mukuha “Mama Nyawira” always encouraged me and talked to me about Salvation. In 1986, while undergoing pre-university basic training at the National Youth Service, I made a decision to accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior - I was filled with the Holy Spirit. Since then, I have continued to pursue a close relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

My interest in music began at a very early age. My father was a talented guitarist who took delight in playing music and singing for his children. As young kids, we formed a "small band" led by my older sister Florence “Flo” Wasike, who played dad’s box guitar - in his absence of course!. Flo later became a high school languages teacher and a rhythm guitarist. She introduced my brother Joseph “Jose” Wasike to guitar.

 

Jose later joined the Kenya Army and was the band leader of the Yellow Waggonner’s. He is a talented guitarist who specializes in lead guitar, but can also play several other instruments. Additionally, he has recorded several hit albums in Kenya.

My experience in musical performance goes back to my primary school days. I was often called upon by the headmistress of St. Joseph’s Primary School in Nakuru, Kenya, to perform for guests, parents, and students in the assembly hall. My first performance was “Waves of Devotion”, a song  my eldest sister Norrah Wasike taught me. I also participated in various other musical productions in high school, ranging from traditional African folk music to the Irish jig.

 The pivotal moment in my musical career occurred in the summer of 2004.  Reuben Kigame, a renowned Kenyan evangelist and gospel singer was touring the U.S., and the Lord led Fulbert to seek him out and request him to visit Baton Rouge, La.

 

Although Reuben did not know us then, he graciously agreed to come to Baton Rouge and from that moment on, he became a dear friend.

After he left for Kenya, the Lord's Spirit convinced me to do more in the gospel music ministry. With encouragement from Fulbert and my brother-in-law John Bosco Namwamba - a talented guitarist and well known musician in Kenya - I started singing with a dream of eventually recording an album.

 

On his return to the U.S. in the summer of 2005, Reuben invited John Bosco and I to sing with his group. It was while driving back to Baton Rouge after a concert in Dallas, that Reuben suggested I record an album.

 

We successfully recorded the first four songs in our in-home recording studio dubbed Lakeshore Studios. Despite a busy schedule, Reuben was instrumental in writing  and arranging most of the songs. He also played keyboard, guitar and sang backup. His dedication was an inspiration to all.

 

We completed my debut album “Mawazo Ya Tumaini” in December, a testimony to the goodness of God. This goodness was manifest in the the team of talented musicians involved in the recording namely; Dorothy Odera, Lydia Njeri, John Bosco, Reuben, and Fulbert.

 

With help from Reuben Kigame, I recently released an album titled "Here I Am". Album was recorded in Eldoret, Kenya and featured my sister Florence Wasike Odero.

Fulbert and I currently reside in Baton Rouge. We are professors at Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge. I hold a B.Sc. Degree from Egerton University, Njoro, Kenya, a Master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Ph.D. from Iowa State University.

 

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