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Five things to know about Achieng’ Abura

Kenyans continue to mourn the demise of Afro Jazz singer Achieng’ Abura who died on Thursday night at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

Despite being instrumental in the music industry, a lot is remains unknown about the sassy singer. Below are things you might have not known about her:

1. Education

Lydia Achieng Abura did her O’levels at Kenya High School; she later joined Virginia Commonwealth University in USA, for her undergraduate in chemistry. She also has a Masters of Philosophy in Environmental studies from Moi University.

2. Her career as a singer started 26 years ago

The artiste’s debut gospel album titled I Believe came out in 1990. She would follow it up with two more albums, Way Over Yonder and Sulwe. In 2002, when she had shifted to Afro-jazz, she released the album Maisha. Later she released the album Spirit Of a Warrior. Her last album, titled Dhahabu Yangu was released in 2007 by the Blu Zebra label. In 2008 she played the role of the Academy Principal in the music reality show Tusker Project Fame.

3. Was part of foursome divas

She was part of the Divas of The Nile super group that featured four Kenyan female musicians. The other three group members were Suzzana Owiyo Suzzana Owiyo, Mercy Myra and Princess Jully. The group performed at the Festival Mundial in Tiburg, Netherlands in 2007. Also she was the voice behind the cartoon character the crow in the musical Tinga Tinga tales.

4. Multiple award winner

In 2004 Abura won the Kora Award in the Best East African Female artiste category. She was also honored by the president in 2004 with the Order of the Grand Warrior (OGW) for her contribution to the arts and culture in Kenya. In 2012 she was recognized by the Jordan Foundation in USA for her contribution to social change and development through music in Kenya.

5. Social Ambassador

Abura was passionate on social transformation and was an activist for peace, good governance and the environment. Until he death, she was the Goodwill ambassador for UNDP.