Ng’ang’alito still going strong
He first became popular when we saw him in the popular singing competition Tusker Project Fame (TPF). Bernard Nganga aka Nga’nga’lito has been busy with his music career since his appearance at the TPF3. He has already released an album called Zawadi and is working on a second one.
Although you made it to TPF3, you didn’t win. How did it feel?
Taking part in the contest was a win in itself. When I was eliminated, of course I was hurt because I wanted to win but I also got a platform and proved myself which would never have happened had I not been in the competition to begin with.
Was singing a life-long dream or a spur of the moment thing?
I discovered my ability in high school. I was involved in drama festivals and one day the soloist for our group fell ill. The teachers asked me to replace him and that is when I realised I could sing. Then TPF started and my family pushed me to try out. I guess singing was always there and yes, it is a dream come true.
Tell us about Zawadi and the album you are working on.
Zawadi was my present to my family who encouraged me to take up music. I put a lot of African elements into it and I am grateful that the songs are doing great. I am now working on the second album which I hope to release soon.
What challenges did you face at the TPF academy?
There was no TV, we were not allowed to have phones and we all had to concentrate on music, vocal training and other such things. I felt like I was in a prison since we never used to go anywhere.
However, some of my best moments came from working with housemates and building new friendships.
What do you say of TPF winners who haven’t done anything yet?
I think big money can confuse anyone. There is also the pressure to do well because fans have high expectations of you. That frightens most people since they do not know how their songs will be received by the fans.
Apart from singing, what else do you do?
I am the assistant producer of a breakfast show at a local TV station and also a businessman. Apart from music and work, my family also takes a considerable amount of my time.
Yes, I am married and have a daughter called Celine. I can see her following in my footsteps because at two years, she can DJ my songs in the computer. Even if it is not singing, I know she will be in the entertainment industry.
What kind of business are you talking about?
Well, I own pubs in Nairobi and Nakuru, including one called ‘Karma’ in Ongata Rongai. I also have land in Nakuru that I sometimes farm. It is not like I have big investments everywhere in Kenya, I am still a hustler like everyone else.
How much do you make in a day from your pubs?
My dear, I don’t think I can give you that information. I would be crazy to do that. We live in a nation where you cannot flash your wealth to all and sundry unless you want your face to appear in the obituaries.
What next for Ng’ang’alito?
I want to venture into acting since I know I have the potential.
I’d also like to do some collabos because I think I have done too much of me already.