Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: 'Mr Nice' Turns to Gospel Music

Arusha — LUCAS Mkenda, the Bongo-Flava artists who used to be known as 'Mr Nice,' has just resurfaced at the Arusha Stadium, this time singing 'gospel' music.

'Mr Nice' surprised many people here when he took into the stage at the Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium over the weekend and started belting out religious tunes during a Christian meeting organized by Arusha's famous preacher Geor Davie of the 'Ngurumo ya Upako' mission.

"I have discovered God," claimed Mr Nice who in 2003 had a fire hit with 'Fyagilia' a synthesized, teen-pop fare which gave the artist a sudden fame all over East Africa prompting him to invent a dance style called 'Takeu' (Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda).

He got a standing ovation from mostly the religious women who attended the stadium event. Amassing millions from stage shows and album sales the fragile ego of Mr Nice sent him into series of juvenile verbal exchange and physical fighting with other artists as well as Djs, the latest being the one which left him seriously wounded at a Dar es Salaam night club last June.

With both fame and money running thin Mr Nice disappeared from public view (with exception of a few publicized pub fights that is) as well as local music scene until last weekend when he resurfaced in Arusha, singing gospel at a religious meeting.

It was also hard to pin him down for an interview because 'Mr Nice' has been making sure that he disappears among the rather huge crowd of people as soon as he finishes his act on stage.

Like many bong-flava artists, 'Mr Nice' still mimes over CD recordings' playbacks of his songs and proving religion is a very new world to him, he keeps mincing and missing words to his own records and tries to make up for it with some 'not-very-religious' stage dancing.

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