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Four One One

Sauti Sol singer struggling with ‘loud noise’

Sauti Sol band member Willis Chimano. COURTESY PHOTO

Sauti Sol’s band member, Willis Chimano, who is openly gay man with a Caucasian partner, has reacted to the ongoing debate of LGBTQ in Kenya, intimating that he was struggling with rising above the noise.

“Nobody owns you. You don’t owe no one sh*t! Rising above the very loud noise is a struggle. Protect your heart. Smile. Love and live another day putting you first because that’s your business… ” Chimano said on Saturday.

Chimano finally came out as a gay when he released a solo song with themes from the queer community and told media that he would no longer hide who he is and that he is.

His remarks follows fellow band member, Bien-Aime Baraza, who separately affirmed his support for queer community, saying “whatever someone choses to do behind closed doors and inside the four walls of their bedroom is not our business but theirs.”

“I support LGBTQ, I support people doing what they want. In Kenya our problems are hunger, economic empowerment proper education in our schools. There are so many problems that come before this LGBTQ issue,” Bien said.

Sauti Sol band members, from left, Polycarp Otieno, Willis Chimano, Savara Mudigi and Bien-Aimé Baraza. The group has been able to turn fame into business. Photo | File | NMG

Other notable members of the queer community in Kenya include Makena Njeri, Michelle Ntalami and Sir Mario.

Kenyans are currently engaged in a heated debate over the rights and freedoms of the LGBTQ community. The public debates – held at the highest levels of government by politicians to being online discussions among ordinary Kenyans – were sparked by a recent Supreme Court ruling which allowed members of the queer community to legally form associations in Kenya, terming a lower court decision to ban them from doing so as discriminatory.

President William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua have criticised the Supreme Court ruling, saying there is no place for same sex marriages in Kenya.

Additionally, Homa Bay town MP Peter Kaluma has also written to the Speaker of the National Assembly Speaker, Moses Wetang’ula, seeking parliamentary facilitation for the discussion of proposals he made to an anti-homosexuality Bill.

Willis Austin Chimano (R) of Sauti Sol dances with a fan. PHOTO BY EDDIE CHICCO.

In the Bill, the MP proposed life imprisonment for anyone found to be engaging in or promoting homosexuality contrary to Kenya’s culture and religious values.

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