Student Spotlight; Mark Christian Kimani – Strathmore’s Humming Bird
Mark Christian Kimani dazzled students and staff, when he took to the stage to perform at the recent New Students Convocation event held at Strathmore University. The 21 year old sang his heart out to the delight of congregants.
His journey to fame did not come on a silver platter. The outspoken 4th year Bachelor of Business Science; Finance student attributes his vocal prowess to his passion for music and the effort he puts into practice.
Born and raised in a family of three, Mark did not have specific career goals in life. In fact, after completing his high school education at the renowned Starehe Boys Centre, Mark did not know what course he wanted to study in campus despite scoring a strong A in his National KCSE examinations. He only settled for Finance because he wanted to study a course that deals with how to make money.
Mark’s passion for music must have developed when he was a small child, he believes he started singing before he could talk. His mother tells him that as a child he enjoyed watching Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley singing.
The journey to perform at the convocation began when a friend, Jeff Murerwa who doubles up as Academics Director in the Students Council, requested Mark to perform at the launch of the Microsoft Auditorium at the Law School, which he did. His performance was nothing short of success as he impressed the guests in attendance. Thereafter, the Dean of Students – Mr. Paul Ochieng, upon hearing of his singing requested him to perform at the convocation. Mark had a class on that particular day, but he chose not to turn down the offer. His great performance on the day catapulted the rise to fame within the university.
While in high school, Mark studied music which prepared him for his current music journey. He also enrolled at the Kenya Conservatoire of Music, soon after highschool where he learnt how to play musical instruments; he enjoys playing the clarinet.
Mark’s choice of music is not limited to a specific genre, his selection depends on his mood. However, he tends to gravitate to soul soothing music such as blues, jazz and neo soul which have influenced his singing. Mark’s type of singing is vocally demanding and one that emotes. His singing has been classified with the likes of musicians like Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston.
With a determination to raise the ceiling, Mark has performed in private events as well as collaborate with local artists such as Collins Majale (Collo) and Adeline Maranga (Dela).He has also written songs for Christopher Njogu Munene (Kris) of Kaskazini, an upcoming artiste who works closely with the famed Sauti Sol band. Locally, Mark draws his inspiration from artiste Noel Nderitu.
His advice to students is that they should put in more effort if they want to succeed in music. Mark cautions them to strike a balance between music and books lest one of the two suffers. He urges students to identify their abilities and work towards improving them.
Mark practices for three hours daily, from 6.00 to 9.00pm. This helps him improve his vocals. According to Mark, self-drive, discipline and resilience are the recipes to greatness with no shortcuts.
Mark purposes to thrust himself into the music industry once he clears university and has already figured out the path he wants to take. The biggest challenge in the local music industry, according to him, is a lack of quality music and marketing because very few people understand the business dynamics of music.
Mark wishes to capitalize on his finance knowledge in order to make the best out of his music venture. He also wants to be an inspiration, to touch people’s soul through music and leave a rich legacy behind.