After seven years of singing secular hits, Florence Chepngetich has shifted her focus to gospel music. The 27-year-old, who released four gospel singles last week, claims she changed her mind after profiting handsomely from Jubilee Party political campaigns.
Chepngetich, also known by her stage name Naswa Melodies, has been missing in action for more than a year.
So what compelled her to make such a bold move? Chepngetich, who has since changed her name to Naswa Reborn, says the death of her music associate Weldon Cheruiyot alias Kenene and some band members in a car accident in 2017 rocked her world.
Chepngetich claims she was supposed to travel in the ill-fated vehicle with Cheruiyot, but God intervened.
“On that fateful day, I did something unusual: I went to my local pastor and asked him to pray for me and my friends because we were traveling to Nakuru for a performance,” she recalls.
Fortunately, the prayers took longer than expected, and her friends had to leave without her. “When my pastor prayed, I heard him rebuke and ask God to protect me and my team from accidents, and I thought it was normal, but I later realized that his prayer saved my life,” she says, adding, “God had a reason for delaying me not to board the vehicle that night, and that is why I am still alive today.” I’ve got a reason to serve Him.” When she finished praying, Chepngetich changed cars, promising her friends that she would catch up with them.
But, as fate would have it, it was never to be. “I called Cheruiyot at one point to see if the team had arrived at the venue, but he did not answer.” “Minutes later, I found out they’d been in a car accident, and he died along with the rest of the band,” she says. She was shaken by the incident.
It caused her to reflect for over a year, after which she decided to switch from secular to gospel music. Given the progress she had made since beginning her career in music, it was a significant step for her.
Chepngetich debuted in the music industry in December 2013 with her debut album Morning Glory. Her star began to shine in 2015, when she released her second album, Kolok Kipsoiywet. She hit the jackpot with her second album, landing several gigs in Nairobi. “At the time, the late Diana Chelele was ruling the industry, and it was difficult to be recognized,” she says, “but I still managed to shine.”