Kenyan gospel artiste threatens to commit suicide


Kenyan gospel singer, George Barasa, better known by his stage name Joji Baro, has threatened to commit suicide after revealing he is tired of living a ‘messed up’ life.

The 24-year-old singer, who surprised many in 2013 when he confessed to being gay, took to his social media page recently to post a disquieting message to his fans – saying that he’s going to make good on his suicide threat.

He wrote: “I’m going to kill myself and this time round I will make sure I die. Tired of false hope, tired of unfulfilled promises, tired of broken heart; I am tired of messing up… I don’t want no more.”

The message drew comments from fans who pleaded with Joji not to take his own life.

It seems the Never Be the Same hit-maker heeded to his fans’ pleas because by Tuesday, December 1st Baro backtracked on his earlier threat.

He jotted down: “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  I am not suicidal.”

In a bizarre twist, the singer asked his followers not to pray for him.

“How does it feel when your opinion does not count in someone else’s life? How you should be feeling right now. And stop praying for me because God does not answer to your prayers too,” he stated in a post.

It is still not yet clear why Baro is unsettled.

However, some have speculated that it could be as a result of stigma and family conflicts over his sexual orientation.

Coming out as a homosexual

Baro made headlines in 2013 when he opened up to the public about his sexual orientation.

“I was born in Nairobi and brought up in Bungoma. I am a gospel artiste. I am gay. I am an activist. I stay in Embakasi, Nairobi after my whole family disowned me.”

Baro divulged that he first came out as gay when he was in secondary school.

“I opened up about my sexuality to the C.U. Patron. Then I was in Form Two. The C.U leader reprimanded me sharply and he constituted a battery of teachers, parents and church leaders to come pray for me,” revealed Baro.

He later quit the school he was in due to stigma and joined another secondary institution.

His story would later feature in a local daily, leading his parents to know of his sexual orientation. Consequently, they disowned him.

“After reading it, my parents were outraged. My family was revolted. And my whole clan was in pure shock. And because of that, I was rejected by my family, my parents and my people. It crashed my soul,” revealed the singer.

He again quit the secondary school he was in and relocated to Nairobi where he said he engaged in several gay relationships with reckless abandon.

Sadly, Baro attempted suicide due to pressure from his relationships. His attempts failed and he was hospitalized and later discharged.

After numerous counseling sessions, Joji picked up the pieces and he has since been an LGBT activist.

Did his sexual orientation hurt his career as a gospel minister?

“I am receiving great resistance and backlash from the gospel industry heavyweights,” he noted, saying he however considers himself blessed.

“I consider myself an icon, a trendsetter, a brave soul, a legend and a marvel. I am tired of being judged and bullied and labeled and stigmatized against. I am serving God. And I hope God accepts my service.”

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Brian Okoth
Story By Brian Okoth
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