Campus Icon on K.U FM One on one with Holy Dave a.k.a H.D
Amos: Welcome to K.U FM Holy Dave, you have a great fan base here in fact one of them is coming for your autograph in a short while.
H.D: Thank you for having me, today I am in KU let all of them come.
Amos: So H.D let’s start off, time has really flown. Tell us your story before you got into salvation; you had this bad boy image.
H.D: people imagine that because I come from a well off family I was handed everything on a silver platter which is not the case. I got into a lot of bad things in high school at Machakos boys’. At that time I felt life was unfair. Everyone in the family had gone to the states for their studies, my sister joey was in the American system. I was among the ‘cool kids’ at school and I got into a lot of trouble. I was introduced to drugs and like any other young person I thought I was doing my parents a favor. Time went by and I found myself in form four with short term memory loss. My parents did not even come for my prayer day as they had lost all hope in me. I had been given three suspensions and a final warning for expulsion. In fact I was happy they did not come because I was nursing a hangover from the previous night. As expected, I did not pass. I got a C and did not even make it to campus. After that I had to make up my mind to get my act together because at the end of the day it is my life.
Amos: at which point did you decide to change your life for the better?
H.D: my life has not been perfect. I had like two turning points. I decided to go clean and take control of my life. In primary school I was a bright guy. I missed my school of choice Lenana by one mark. I got 568 out of the possible 700.
Victor: how did your family feel about you giving up on life?
H.D: My siblings were in the states so it was just communication here and there. But then again, change comes from within. So I enrolled into pre-university for a year and got my life together. I got into Daystar and did Computer Science, I passed, and then I did an MBA in Strategic Management and passed, I did a certificate in Financial modeling which I also passed and finally Advanced financial modeling which I also passed. I am also going to apply for my PhD.
Victor: H.D ameapply PhD!
H.D: it’s all God’s doing. All this is not my doing but faith. ‘Hapandio faith imenifikisha, It’s not about the money,it’s about Imani!’
Amos: H.D let’s talk about your music. So far, I have listened to you for long and I have always appreciated your music. Do you think the industry supports Hip Hop artists?
H.D: No. Actually, it’s not only about Hip Hop artists. There are cartels out there that support individuals and certain kinds of music no need for me to mention names because people know them. For example, I have released Imani which is a good song and the fans love it but it is given minimal or no airtime at all in the gospel shows I don’t know why. This issue of giving some artists too much airtime and others none at all is hurting the industry heavily.
Amos: I totally agree. I understand that unless you are in certain cliques even awards are hard to come by.
H.D: it’s true. You know,as H.D I have been in the industry for quite a while, I am apioneer in my own right. I am one of the older artists in the industry therefore I have a greater responsibility and I won’t cow and chicken out from talking about such issues. You have to know certain people to even be nominated for awards and I have evidence to support such. This is like a culture in our society it does not only affect the music industry.
Amos: Why is this issue in the gospel industry? One would expect it to be in the secular industry it would be understandable, but in a place where people claim to be Christians?
H.D: as Christians we should have higher morals but unfortunately it is happening and at the end of the day we are human beings, so yeah
Victor: Where do you see the gospel industry in 5 years?
H.D: first of all I don’t want to sound like a bitter guy. I am proud of the industry it has come a long way. When we started out we could not go to church and rap, Hip Hop was not even accepted. For us to even be called urban gospel artistswe should appreciate the positive change, the milestones and also look out for those things that are hindering growth.
Amos: Let’s talk about your life. Let me ask this if you don’t mind. Are you married?
H.D: No. I am single. By the way I’m looking for a girl. I’ve seen plenty of good ones on my way here.
Victor: Talking of that, you sang you look familiar and the fans went crazy claiming H.D had quit gospel.
Amos: H.D, previously you have been in a relationship..
H.D: I have been in one serious relationship
Victor: What happened?
H.D: I was told I was boring , that was in 2008. (All laugh) I was told my life is like a bulletin. Same old, same old.
Amos: when you were in Daystar, were you in a relationship?
H.D: I had a lot of flings. You know in campus there is a lot of free time and a lot of activities so the crushes were there.
Amos: so what do you think makes a relationship stand out especially in campus?
H.D: what I understood is that most of campus relationships are not serious; like only 10 % of them were serious most of them were just campus flings, people were dating for the sake of it. Take your time to figure out what you want in a man or woman. Don’t go for hype. Go for someone you can share ambitions together.
Amos: There is also the issue of drug abuse in campus. What do you think is the problem?
H.D: Peer pressure. There is a lot of that happening not only in campus even out there. There is just a way that society portrays drugs as cool. This is the biggest trigger even to those who have never tried them.
Amos: Do you think there has been a downgrade of morals in the society?
H.D: definitely. It stems from the general Kenyan culture. Back then most of us grew up in conservative Christian homes and church was compulsory which sadly is not the case anymore. Morals are out there.
Victor: Talking about morals what made you change?
H.D: Right now, I’m not perfect. It is a daily struggle. Salvation is a daily struggle,salvation is a daily process. When you get saved, there is nowhere in the bible where you are guaranteed that life will be easy but it says God will be there. I vowed to keep up with the daily struggle and find myself in heaven than to stay out there comfortable and lose all hope.
Amos: What is your take on socialites? It is quite sad that most girls in Kenyan campuses want to be socialites. What do you think is the problem?
H.D: It is very sad. This issue is very close to my heart because I have a sister who has hustled her way up since 2009 when she came back from the states. She worked hard in radio, TV, hosting shows to become a nice media personality. Yet people like those are not interviewed, you can’t find their stories in the blogs, they really don’t sell but stories about socialites who have taken short cuts to where they are take the cake. I am not criticizing anyone’s’ hustle though. It all goes back to the Kenyan culture and society. When the society magnifies something we all want to be that.
Victor: You seem to be very close to your sister Joey Muthengi. How has she contributed to the shaping of the current Holy Dave?
H.D: Joey is one of the persons I consult. We have weekly meetings to discuss our careers and strategy. We have worked together and I have managed her from 2009 and it has been a good journey. She is very wise and I always consider her counsel. She is my best friend, we hang out a lot. She just got a job on royal media I am very proud of her.
Amos: You are doing some serious investments like HD Ndula,a clothing line, HD Ngepa, what inspires you business wise?
H.D: Ambition. I have always dreamt of building an empire and so I’m starting now. Basically, I did not want to start a clothing line for the sake of it. I wanted to do business with a purpose so when I was given the idea of starting a boot line and having some of the proceeds go to my charity, I thought why not? Follow HD Ndula and HD Ngepa on IG, Facebook and twitter and check out the merchandise.
Amos: Advice the youth on why they should invest?
H.D: very simply put, you can’t get wealthy from one job, maybe a bit rich but not wealthy. The money that you think is little at the moment, save it and invest it into something.
Amos: H.D, tell us about the work you are doing with the Muthengi Foundation.
H.D: The Muthengi Foundation is a project my sister Joey and started a while back. We use our influence to raise support for education related needs. We have a partnership with starter library which is under story moja festival. We start libraries around Kenya and reading clubs. We are reading ambassadors our aim is to create a stronger reading culture and enhance creativity and innovation amongst kids. There is the story moja fest from 16th -19th September. There is also the solar lamp project, we buy solar lamps and give them to people in rural areas so that they can use them for reading at night. There is also a partnership with Braeside school we have a fundraising every term and we identify a beneficiary which is a children’s home with a school. Just to name a few. You can follow us online on IG Muthengi Foundation and Twitter Muthengi Org.
Amos: Finaly, what are the challenges you face in the music industry?
H.D: Majorly it the cartels that give us a hard time pushing our music.
Amos: what do you have to tell the youth who look up to you?
H.D: I am human, don’t follow mw, follow Christ and believe in yourself. Have faith in God, faith is our currency as Christian. When God anoints you, no one can hold you down!
And now for the selfie moment…