Kevin Kioko, known as “Bahati” is a Kenyan gospel artist, a husband and a father. He became famous for his hit song Mama, which hit the airwaves by storm in East Africa. From being a street child to being one of the most successful artists in Kenya, Bahati is a fast-rising music star. Recently in a bid to look beyond just Nigeria, he was chosen alongside another artiste, Bathabise Biyela aka Thabsie, to be the face of the A - Z campaign in collaboration with Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET). He addressed a world press conference on his return from Dubai. Here are some excerpts:
Congratulations on your deal with the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET). 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 to work with 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 role, I hope to inspire others and foster stronger ties between Africa and Dubai. I am so excited to have embarked on this journey to promote 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 for.
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 for people of different ages and interests. It does not matter if I am looking to have a romantic moment with my dear 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 can see that it’s been launched to the public now, so the details I’m sure are no longer a secret.
Yes. The A-Z campaign is an exciting and innovative project that aims to showcase the very many 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 visitors and residents to explore Dubai beyond the obvious 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. For you to truly experience Dubai, you need to Visit Dubai. My wife and I couldn't get enough!
How do you think you can use this platform to impact on the perception of African art and artists on the global stage?
As a face for the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) on this campaign, I see it as a tremendous opportunity to leverage my position to positively impact the perception of African art and artists on the global stage. Through my role, I will actively promote and highlight the immense talent and creativity of our African artists. I will also work towards fostering collaborations between African artists 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. This should and will open the door for others.
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 artistes is that we are original and come with a different kind of experience 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 makes us 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 inside Africa should also promote cultural exchange programs and initiatives that facilitate artistic collaborations, exhibitions, and residencies across borders. This enables artists 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 artists 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!