The Safaricom Choir has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception in 2008. It started with a challenge. The then Safaricom CEO, Michael Joseph, a lover of classical music, invited music director Ken Wakia to his office and expressed his intention to start a 200-member choir at the communications company.
After a series of planning and strategy, Wakia helped to actualize Joseph’s dream, and the Safaricom Choir was formed in January 2009. Since their participation in their debut Thematic TVC commonly known as Niko Na Safaricom, the team has performed for various audiences at the Safaricom AGM, Groove Awards and Classical Fusion concerts among others. Members meet once every week for practice and training. Some employees have been members since the start in 2009, with auditions being held every two years to replace those who leave the company.
I spoke to Juliet Ongoro, Manager – Roaming, at Safaricom, who joined the Choir in 2010. Having been an employee of Safaricom since 2008, Juliet saw a perfect opportunity to do the two things she loved most. Her career, and singing. Juliet describes her experience as unique and interesting.
With a sense of excitement and joy, she describes to me her highlight moment since joining the Choir. Juliet vividly describes her experience in New York in November 2019, when the Choir performed at the United Nations Security Council event, when Kenya was vying for a position on the Council.
A unique aspect of the choir is that all members are employees of Safaricom. “Thanks to the choir, I have been able to make friends and network with fellow employees in different departments. In many ways, the Choir has brought us together and enhanced cohesiveness amongst us,” explains Juliet.
Last year, upon onset of COVID-19, the choir took about 3 months hiatus before resuming practice in April. Since then, the group has been meeting virtually for lessons, with a few physical sessions for individual voice training. Juliet explains to me how this period has truly shown the commitment and effort by members to keep practising and perfecting their art even in the current situation. This extraordinary effort and commitment is amplified under Twende Tukiuke, demonstrating Safaricom’s continued support of the arts through giving Kenyans a platform to follow their dreams and passion for the performing arts.
This Sunday evening, the Safaricom Choir will share their voices with the rest of Kenya with a virtual Easter concert on NTV and Safaricom’s YouTube Channel from 8 P.M. East African Time.
Speaking for the Choir, Juliet hopes that their performance will bring light, joy and hope to Kenyans, who are currently facing immense challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic.