May 27, 2024

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Tanzanian Gospel Singer Stirs Controversy in Kenya with New Song

Christina Shusho, one of East Africa’s most prominent gospel performers, has created a sensation in Kenya by releasing a preview of her new song, Zakayo.

Shusho sings in Swahili, “There was a man named Zakayo, the head tax collector and a wealthy man. He wanted to know what kind of person Jesus was…”

Some individuals in Kenya, where the Tanzanian musician has a large fanbase, suspected that the song was about Kenyan President William Ruto.

Some Kenyans mockingly refer to him as Zakayo, which is Swahili for the biblical figure Zacchaeus, a greedy tax collector who climbed a tree to see Jesus.

Mr Ruto gained the nickname Zakayo because, after being elected president in August 2022, he has imposed a slew of new levies and raised existing ones. It has made him unpopular among many Kenyans, who believe he has compromised his campaign vow to represent the interests of “hustlers” – those who are struggling financially.

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