Mawazo Ya Tumaini
Dr. Grace Namwamba was born Grace Nanjala Wasike to Patrick and Martha Wasike. She hails from the Bungoma District in the Western Province of Kenya and is the fifth born of nine children. She is married to Dr. Fulbert Namwamba who hails from Port Victoria, Kenya. Grace and her husband are active members of Christ the King Christian Center in Baton Rouge Louisiana under Pastor Chibuike Azuoru. Grace was a devoted Christian from her childhood. Her maternal and paternal grandmothers were God-fearing women who taught their children about God. Her maternal grandmother, Rispah Nabalayo and her mother Martha Wasike had a strong influence on her Christian formation. They emphasized the importance of prayer and participation in church. Her best friend's mother, Lucy Mukuha "Mama Nyawira" always encouraged her in the Lord and talked to her about Salvation. In 1986, while undergoing pre-university basic training at the National Youth service, she was persuaded that there was more to Christianity than attending church and participating in religious activities. She made a decision to accept Jesus Christ as her personal savior and was filled with Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. From that point on, she has continued to desire and to seek a closer walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace's interest in music began at a very early age. Her father was a talented guitarist who delighted in playing music and singing for his children. As young kids, they formed a small "band" led by her older sister Florence "Flo" who played dad's box guitar (in his absence of course!!!). Flo later became a high school language teacher and a rhythm guitarist. She introduced their brother Joseph "Josse" Wasike to the guitar. Josse went on to become a soldier and the band leader of the Yellow Waggonner's band. He is a talented guitarist who specializes in playing lead guitar, but can also play several other instruments including keyboard. He has recorded several hit albums in Kenya. Flo and Josse had great influence in Grace's musical interest. Grace's experience in musical performance started in primary school. She was often called upon by the headmistress of St. Joseph's Primary School in Nakuru, Kenya, to perform a special number for guests, parents and students in the school assembly hall. Her favorite number for these performances was "Oh Glorious Blessings", a song she was taught by her eldest sister Norrah. She always participated in various musical productions during her school years. The performances ranged from choir, traditional African folk music and dances, and the Irish Jig. A pivotal moment in her musical career occurred in the summer of 2004. Her husband Fulbert learnt that Reuben Kigame, a renowned evangelist and gospel musician was touring the United States with James Kahero and Dorothy Odera. The Lord led Fulbert to seek out Reuben and request him to visit Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Although Reuben did not know Grace and Fulbert, he graciously agreed to come to Baton Rouge. From that moment on, Reuben became a dear friend of the Namwamba family. After Kigame left for Kenya, the Spirit of the Lord strongly convicted Grace to do more in the music ministry. With encouragement from her husband, and with the help of her brother-in-law, John Bosco Namwamba, a talented guitarist and well known musician, Grace started singing with a view of recording an album. By the end of 2004, Grace and Fulbert had been led by the Holy Spirit to establish a recording studio in their home. When Kigame returned to the United States in the summer of 2005, he invited Grace and John Bosco to sing with his group. One day when driving back to Baton Rouge after a concert in Dallas, Texas, Kigame suggested that Grace should record an album. By God's grace, the first four songs were successfully recorded the Namwamba' home studio (Lakeshore Studios). In December of 2005, Kigame returned to the United States for a tour in five cities. Even though his schedule was busy, he was committed to completing the project. He wrote and arranged most of the songs in the project. He also played keyboard, guitar and sang in all the songs. His dedication in the studio was a great inspiration to all. By God's mercy, the album "Mawazo Ya Tumaini" was completed in December of 2005 in their home studio. Completing this debut album was indeed a manifestation to God's goodness. The Lord provided a team comprised of talented musicians and singers, namely Dorothy Odera, Lydia Njeri, and John Bosco Namwamba, who were able to come together to work with Grace. Grace and her husband currently reside in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where they work as professors at Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, LA. She holds B.Sc. Degree from Egerton University, Njoro, Kenya, a Master's degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Ph.D. from Iowa State University.