13 March 2019

Kenya: Man Who Took NTV's Mark Masai Through Orphanage Feted

The man who supported NTV anchor Mark Masai through orphanage was made a Maasai elder at a ceremony in Narok county.

Eighty two year-old Ray Barnett from Ireland is the founder of African Children's Choir program which has supported children across Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Africa.

Mr Barnett has been christened Olomunyak, the blessed one.

The ceremony was in honour of his contribution to improve the lives of Maasai children.

"I am honored to be integrated with the Maasai, whose cultural beliefs and traditions have added to the wealth of Kenya's heritage. Over the last 35 years of the Africa Children's Choir, we have seen talented professionals rise to the peak of their careers by giving them the requisite life skills and opportunities to showcase their talent beyond their borders," said Mr Barnett.

NTV news anchor Mark Maasai narrated how he benefited from the African Children's Choir which sponsored his tour to the United States.

"He was like a father figure to me and I'm where I am today because of the foundation. They sponsored me all through to University and I toured the US as a member of the 10th choir," Masai told Nairobi News.

The African Children's Choir has performed at historic events such as 46664 AIDS Awareness Benefit Concert in honour of Nobel Prize winner Nelson Mandela in 2007.

They also performed for Queen Elizabeth II at Commonwealth Day in London, England.

Alicia Keys sang with the choir at Black Ball Gala in 2009.

The Choir has also performed alongside renowned celebrities Jars of Clay, Michael W. Smith, Roger Whittaker, Maria Carey, Wycliffe Jean and Will Smith.

Their voices have reverberated in movie soundtracks for Oprah Winfrey's, 'Beloved' (1998), 'Blood Diamond' (2006) and 'Rampage' (2018).

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