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Jane Bossia’s Sh6.4 million gamble with Kenyan maiden gospel concert

Nairobi-based French-born gospel singer and songwriter Jane Bossia has forked out $50,000 (Sh6.4 million) in her “Gratitude” concert that will be held in Nairobi on Sunday (July 7, 2024).

The financial leap of faith would be perceived as unusual for a newcomer to the Kenyan market but Bossia is upbeat that her huge invest will delivering a top-notch gospel concert.

“Right now we are around $50,000 in spending,” Bossia said, detailing the costs of flying in international artistes, sound engineers, and equipment for the event at the Nairobi Chapel.

The investment is astronomical in the Kenyan context, given that the typical budget for local gospel concerts in the country usually have an average budget ranging from Sh200,000 to Sh500,000,

Bossia’s financial strategy is not just about putting on a show — it’s a calculated risk to introduce her unique blend of multicultural gospel music to a new audience.

With roots in France, Senegal, and Martinique, and a musical journey that has taken her to the UK and Ivory Coast, Bossia is confident that  her international flavour will resonate with Kenyan gospel fans.

The Gratitude concert, inspired by Psalms 100:4, is shaping up to be more than just a musical event — it’s a cultural fusion on a big scale.

For the concert, Bossia has assembled a lineup that reads like the who is who of international gospel music.

Among the big names expected to grace the concert is Mettle from Ghana, Derek Jones from Ivory Coast, and Andrew Ngelelo from Congo.

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Kenyan artistes Jackie Yashiri, Gatoni Mutuki, and Martin Gidi, along with the Nairobi Worship Team, will also be on stage.

“It’s East meets West. This isn’t just about music — it’s a full sensory experience,” Bossia said.

VIP ticket holders will have access to a lounge offering French pastries alongside West African cuisine, a representation of Bossia’s multicultural background.

Bossia’s path to this moment has been anything but conventional. Born in Bordeaux, southwestern France, she started her music career in her local church youth choir.

“I started singing with the youth choir because the youth pastor knew that I was writing songs,” she recalls.

This early encouragement set the stage for a ministry that would eventually balloon to borders and cultures.

In 2008, Bossia relocated to the UK. It was here that she met her husband. She later released her first EP in 2013, followed by a full album in 2016. She completed a live recording in 2018.

The UK proved to be a crucible for Bossia’s musical development, exposing her to new influences and collaborators.

“Moving from France to different locations has been a blessing to me and my ministry,” she says.

Her international experience has significantly shaped her music, with each new country offering fresh inspiration.

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“Whenever I go to a new country, I listen to the music, and I try to infuse some of the styles maybe into my music,” she explains.

In 2018, Bossia and her family relocated to Ivory Coast, her husband’s home country. This move presented new challenges and opportunities.

While the francophone environment initially posed a hurdle for her English-language songs, Bossia found the musical scene in Ivory Coast incredibly supportive.

“I was able to do live music as much as I wanted to do, which I couldn’t do in the UK because the environment is not the same and things are more expensive,” she says.

In Ivory Coast, Bossia found musicians who deeply understood her music, forming collaborations that continue to this day — her drummer for the Nairobi concert is flying in from Ivory Coast.

Now based in Kenya since 2022, Bossia has embarked on a new chapter of her music journey.

She said the Gratitude concert will also serve as her statement of intent.

Despite being new to the Kenyan gospel scene, Bossia has already made inroads, performing at various events and building a local team.

“Doing music in Kenya has been a good journey so far,” she says, although she’s quick to acknowledge the challenges.

“Sometimes communication can be difficult because we don’t have the same way of communicating in France or West Africa and East Africa.”

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Throughout her career, Bossia has remained focused on her core message: the love of Jesus.

“I like to say He will do everything and anything to save someone,” she explains.

She says her songwriting process is as unconventional as her career path. Her songs are often inspired by dreams or the activities she engages in.

While Bossia doesn’t keep an exact count of her performances, she estimates she’s been in the music ministry for over 20 years, performing across France, Ivory Coast, Kenya, and the United States.

Some of her most popular songs include Apple of His Eye, I Worship You, and Thank You Jesus.

Bossia also remains candid about the financial aspects of her ministry. On whether her music provides a good income, she pauses before answering, “Right now, no. But at the same time, at the same, yes. You know, God doesn’t necessarily bless you with money, but he can bless you with so many other things.”

This is what has perhaps informed her approach to the high-budget concert in Nairobi. While she has heavily invested in the concert, Bossia sees it as more than a financial venture — it’s an investment in her ministry and in the Kenyan gospel community.

For the aspiring gospel musicians, Bossia has some invaluable advice.

“Just be led by the Spirit,” she says.

Bossia also acknowledges the financial and personal sacrifices required in ministry, likening it to the weight of carrying Jesus’ name.