Bahati, a Kenyan gospel music artist as well as songwriter whose real name is Kevin Kioko, born in 1989 in Nairobi, Kenya, came to limelight first when he released his debut album, “Mwanzo,” in 2010. Following this, Bahati has released hit singles and albums that have earned him international recognition and millions of fans across the African continent. One of such current recognition is his ambassadorial deal with the Dubai Department of International Trade (DET).
In this interview, Bahati unveils why Dubai makes it an ideal destination, and the reason behind the A-Z campaign
How does it feel to be chosen as a representative from Africa to tell the story of such a prestigious city?
Thank you so much for your kind words. To be chosen as a representative/ambassador for the Dubai Department of International Trade from Africa is humbling and motivating at the same time. Dubai is a city that exudes elegance, innovation, and limitless possibilities, and being able to represent Africa and share the story of this prestigious city is a tremendous responsibility.
Through this ambassadorial role, I hope to inspire others and foster stronger ties between Africa and Dubai. I am excited to embark on this journey of promoting collaboration, growth, and mutual understanding between our regions. Together, we can create a brighter future and build enduring partnerships that benefit both Dubai and Africa.
We saw that you were in Dubai with your beautiful wife, how is Dubai as a destination for couples and families, would you take your kids there?
Of course! I would take my kids to Dubai any day. In fact, it is where I am taking my kids this summer. Dubai's commitment to safety, cleanliness, and hospitality makes it an ideal destination for my family. The city boasts numerous family-friendly resorts, parks, and beaches, ensuring that children of all ages are well-catered to.
I can confidently say that Dubai is the world’s number one holiday destination for couples and families. It is an extraordinary place that offers a multitude of attractions, activities, and experiences that cater to people of different ages and interests. It does not matter if I am looking to have a romantic moment with my dearest wife or create lifelong memories with our children; Dubai has something for us all.
Can you give us more detail on the A - Z campaign and your collaboration with Dubai Tourism? We see it’s been launched now so the details are no longer a secret.
The A-Z campaign is an exciting and innovative project that aims to showcase the diverse and enchanting aspects of Dubai. My biggest catch from the campaign was that Dubai is more than just what we see. As a result, we intend to unveil the hidden gems and unique experiences the city has to offer, from A to Z.
We will be highlighting various attractions, landmarks, activities, and cultural elements of Dubai, each corresponding to a letter of the alphabet. Using engaging content, stunning visuals, and firsthand narratives, the A-Z campaign aims to get all visitors and residents to explore Dubai beyond its well-known landmarks and discover its hidden treasures. As an ambassador of the A-Z campaign, I am thrilled to be part of this initiative and have the opportunity to share my personal experiences and insights about Dubai. However, for you to experience Dubai, you need to visit Dubai. I couldn't get enough!
How do you think you can use your ambassadorship to impact on the perception of African art and artists on the global stage?
As the ambassador for the Dubai Department of International Trade (DET), I see a tremendous opportunity to leverage my position to positively impact the perception of African art and artists on the global stage. Through my ambassadorship, I will actively promote and highlight the immense talent and creativity of African artistes. I will also work towards fostering collaborations between African artistes and their counterparts from around the world.
I know the difference education can make in life, so as an ambassador, I will support initiatives that promote art education and development in Africa. Through these efforts and collaborations, I will be showcasing the immense talent of African artists on the global stage.
As an African artist, what do you think sets our art apart from other styles and movements and how can Africa work together even better?
The reason I love African artists is that we are original and that alone sets us apart. As African musicians, we are inspired by our diverse culture, backgrounds and upbringing and the way we tell our stories through our Art makes it more special.
To work together even better, African artists should focus on collaboration and knowledge sharing so we can learn from each other and exchange perspectives to collectively elevate the African art scene. Each and every one of our countries in Africa should also promote cultural exchange programs and initiatives that facilitate artistic collaborations, exhibitions, and residencies across borders. This enables artistes to explore different cultural contexts, gain new insights, and foster greater understanding and appreciation of African art globally.
What advice do you have for other African artistes who aspire to achieve similar levels of success and recognition in the global art scene?
My advice to other uprising African stars is not to let anybody dim your shine. Do not let nobody tell you it's impossible and always give your best in what you do because you never know who's watching. Always embrace your unique perspective that reflects your authentic voice and dedicate time and effort to honing your artistic skills. Strive for excellence and never stop learning and growing as an artist.
I truly believe that any African child with a dream can make it a reality if they keep giving their best in what they do. Trust me when I say it's Our Time, It's Time for Africa!