Ngashville eulogized for his immense contribution to gospel industry
Death always has a way of setting an atmosphere of gloom and sadness but during the memorial service of gospel singer Anthony Ng’ang’a, popularly known as Ngashville, the mood was a combination of thanksgiving and reverence, as family and friends came together to pay tribute to the late singer.
At one point during the service at the Nairobi Chapel, Ngong Road, it seemed as though the mourners were attending a gospel concert as his fellow musicians from the Fatmod and Wernono group – some of them almost unrecognisable due to their big belly’s and weight they have put on over the years – took the stage to perform some of their greatest hits done together with the late Ngash.
Hits like Songa Kando, Fanana Naye, Halle among other songs that rocked the airwaves in the early 2000s.
Ngash died on August 21, 2022 night after he was rushed to hospital in a critical condition. According to the family, he started experiencing stomach discomfort on August 13. His condition did not improve and he started vomiting. After seeing a doctor he was diagnosed with typhoid.
“He got better for a few hours as he had been re-hydrated, but on the evening of the same night his condition got out of hand that he was then rushed to hospital at midnight and was immediately admitted to the HDU. Unfortunately, his condition kept deteriorating and his blood pressure was so low that the doctor decided to move him to the ICU. He then started experiencing multiple organ failure,” Triza, a cousin of Ngash said.
His death was received with a lot of sadness by his colleagues in the entertainment industry.
“Ngash had a way of making you feel like a better human than you are. He would see the ministry inside us. And we will miss that. He was very open and willing to learn. I was with Ngash on Thursday last week and for the last couple of weeks, he used to say God amemuongelesha sana. When I went to see him he had his Bible next to him,” said Pastor Andy Mburu, who also started his music career around the same time as Ngash.
“He had many vivid dreams. There was this dream where he was lifted up and he was with his family and he saw God’s finger touch each member present in his dream. When he finished praying in the dream the whole family was dressed in white and started to ascend. As I was about to leave he said something I did not expect. He said he wanted to give his life to Jesus, very interesting because he is already a saved Christian. And I took him through the prayer,” Pastor Mburu added.
Singer Daddy Owen, who was very close to Ngash, narrated how he introduced Ngash to the late singer’s wife, Mercy.
“I have known Ngash for so many years. Me, him and Dunco have a group called the Three Musketeers, I don’t know how we met but what I know is that Ngash was the guy who always had money. He would buy us lunch in Buru. I was the one who introduced Ngash to Mercy, his wife,” Daddy Owen said.
Reminiscing about his last moments, Daddy Owen said, “It was hard for me because I was there with Mom praying. The doctors gave us a chance to see him, we were all with him at the ICU. We were praying loudly without fear. We are here for a purpose and once the purpose is done that is the journey.”
According to Daddy Owen, Ngash played a huge role in revolutionizing the gospel music industry. And this can be attributed to the fact that most of their songs included the element of hip hop in them, a huge contrast to the slow worship music that has been associated with gospel songs.
“The only thing that comes to my mind is the lyrics to one of his songs that he asked me to write the chorus; Kaza mwendo wakati unapita unayoyoma nab ado unacheza, usife moyo rafiki we jikaze, tutarukaruka na kusifu pamoja na malaika,” Daddy Owen said.
Ngash together with singer Danco and others formed the group Fatmod that later grew into Wernono crew.
“He was a ball of lovable warm energy, we enjoyed the fact that we had a gospel artiste in the family. We nicknamed him Fabulous because he resembled the US rapper. He was the joker in our cousin’s WhatsApp group, we will greatly miss him,” Sonia Gakuru said.
When he was not in the studio Ngash was a pastry chef and he started running a home-based bakery by the name The Muffin Company in 2012. This was his passion and he ran the business till his demise.