Atemi Oyungu – Breathing soul into Kenyan music

According to Music Africa Awake Reporter:

On her debut release of ‘’Happy’’ in 2004, Kenya were undoubtedly impressed by the new hit single which was a product of Atemi Oyungu. The powerful vocals were likened to award winning musicians such as Angie Stone or Aretha Franklin. Atemi has been described as Kenya’s Miriam Makeba with her powerful and emotive stage presence.

Coming from a musical family Atemi began singing at a very early age out of constant encouragement from her family to take part in a number of musical projects. At 10yrs old she began singing at the junior choir at Nairobi Baptist Church.

At the end of her secondary education, she and a group of friends formed an accapella gospel group called Thrown Together by Christ (TTBC) and were sponsored by Youth for Christ to go on a musical tour of Zimbabwe. Atemi continued with the group until she joined USIU in 1996 and formed the singing and dance group Karisma.

Karisma’s main performances were at USIU functions and alumni events. Their first performance at a Love Jam concert at the Barn, one of Nairobi’s premier entertainment spots in 1997 and the group immediately became a smashing success. The group stayed together until late 1998 when

Atemi and Natasha Gatabaki, also a member of Karisma, formed the group INTU and began recording with producer Tedd Josiah at Sync Sound studios.

INTU featured on a song with one of Kenya’s premier urban musicians, Hardstone, before they released their first single ‘Shivers’ that is featured on the compilation CD ‘Kenyan – The 1st Chapter.’

The duo released their next single ‘Tamani’ on the compilation CD ‘Kenyan’ the 2nd Chapter’ and won a university achievement award in 1999 for best new group. The group continued with numerous performances though out their campus life until their graduation in June 2000 when they took a break to have a go at the business world. They still did a number of performances and appeared as individuals on collaborative songs with other artistes.

Atemi’s drive to surpass local industry standards with her powerful vocals and well written songs is the reason she is our WCW.


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