Hers is a beautiful voice. It’s a rich husky alto that climbs a number of octaves, amid blends of soothing expressions and rich belting – while telling of her convictions. If you are not quite sure you know her, she is the ultra photogenic song bird who is far from camera-shy and not afraid to dance. Her music is rife with rhythm and with words that encase you with virtue.
Sharing a cup of vanilla tea in her artistic home with Congo Terrier puppies tottering, tripping in the grass and nibbling our feet, she informs that she has learnt to juggle family and purpose. These are callings she responded to in the affirmative; so she is not letting either of them fail, articulates the chivalrous diva.
Her other passions like interior design
Right now her hands are full with baby Love, her last born, and general housekeeping. So no much music is happening in the Ohon house save for a few music gigs and the final details of a soon to come album. She is taking this time to rest, refresh and reload – even as attends to her other passions like interior design. It is all evident in her living room, which is blocked with both energising and restful hues. The drapes, seats, the flooring tell you are in a happy artist’s house. Exploring does not scare her, and the results are becoming! So if you are thinking …things wallpaper, wall hangings, window draping… – Rosy shall soon be a dial away.
Back to things music, the depth of her singing ministry was birthed in her marriage – a place she discovered the profundity of herself. That is, her unfathomable love for children, for the helpless, and knowing that a woman must pray – fetching rare solutions that are only hidden in deity. And soon her songs which include Watoto, He Has Given me, Eshe Baba, Nibariki, and recently Tabasamu resonated the airwaves.
Rosy met Donald Ohon at a bus-stop in Buruburu – where she grew up, and it was love at first sight, Rosy relives. The tall, dark, handsome and charming effect refused to budge – and since then he has been in the delivery room with her – holding her hand and encouraging her to do what only her could do for herself – PUSH. He is the father of her four pretty girls.
The first three pregnancies were pretty easy, Rosy recalls. She’d almost forget she was expectant. She thinks age had a lot to do with it now that she got her first baby at 21. The last one, who arrived last year, came with a lot of backache – which she is still recuperating from.
All of them were marred by a more demanding sweet tooth and a more adventurous palate. So Chinese cuisine, cake and chocolate, were the order of the day. The first two pregnancies left her at size 10. The last two did not spare her indulgence – so she has had to work down from 92kgs after her last birth – by eating smaller portions, lots of housework and breastfeeding. So far 20Kgs are gone – and counting….
Another interesting bit is that all her babies who came at 3kgs, 3.5Kgs, 4.25Kgs and 3.99Kgs, left NO TEAR. This was not after intense birth exercises – she did not know any back in the day. She had not done lots of walking – she is not yet a fitness freak, she says. The NO TEAR is just a blessing she and her sister share, she appreciates.
All in a name
Rosy is one of those people who subscribes to the school of thought that whatever a child hears from a parent takes effect on them. The word charges the air in the home and builds its representation in the child. And they decided to get it right from the word go – the names. There is Hope, Joy, Imani (faith) and Love. And they have turned out accordingly, she prides. “Hope is just herself – very motivating. Joy has a joke for everyone. She brings joy to the house. Imani loves to pray. She is a girl of faith. I tell her I love it! And Love is just so loveable,” says Rosy adding that her lastborn’s love is infectious. “The house is full of love,” she cannot help but say.
Back to Daddy
He is bubbly and funny – keeping the house alive with his coastal drawl, says Mrs Ohon. “He is a great dad – he makes sure the kids and I get whatever we need – as long as it is within his power,” she tells. Mr Ohon is the designated chef for the gourmet meals in the house. “I do the simple everyday meals. He does the complicated. He enjoys staying up late boiling the meat for pilau or biryani and waking up early to cook the rice before leaving for work,” she appreciates. When her sweet-tooth gets very demanding, he is usually happy to drive out for her favourite cake. “It disturbs him when I say I haven’t eaten well. And when he is not at the office or attending to his businesses he is here with us,” she nods on reinforcing appreciation.
The 36-year-old diva has no house-help because she enjoys her space, believes in hands-on parenting and loves to work from the house. “I don’t envy my hubby’s leaving very early for work,” laughs the creative who enjoys working at her own pace. And how easy is that? “It is not hard at all,” she says explaining the team work in the house. The girls; Hope – 16, Joy – 11, Imani – 8 are old enough to make their beds, clean up, and pick up after themselves. She says being a stay-at-home-mum, she does the laundry with the help of the washing machine, has quality time with Love – who is 10 months old, and cooks. Mr Ohon usually does the necessary shopping or they do it together over the weekend. “I really do not see the need of a house-help,” she reiterates.
Time-outs or spanking
“Hmmm… I don’t know how time-out works. I just see it on TV. For me what comes closest to it is switching off the TV. I spank – but when only when very necessary,” says the forthright mum. “I want to drive the message ‘I am still your mother – even if you are taller than me,” she says matter-of-factly, “I do what I know.”
She is nurturing them to be amazing wives, great mothers and substantial members of the society, Rosy says. So they have a lot of girl-talk and some discipline to chop off the rough edges. That is why they clean, make small meals, watch their baby sister and generally work at being good natured, tells the 36 year old mum.
There is a school of thought that every parent has a favourite child – for whatever reason. Does she? “No. I don’t,” she says emotively. “I have heard that line before – but I have searched my heart and seen I that I love my children the same – maybe differently but with the same intensity,” she asserts. Maybe this one…” she says smiling at baby Love, “who everyone runs to when they get home – but I think it’s because she is the youngest,” says the musician, “They all get my hugs and kisses”. She says, ‘I love you’ to each of them and listens attentively to each, Rosy notifies.
The art gene
Everyone has a musical streak. Special highlights are that: Hope is ever abreast with the music charts – especially African. She keeps them posted. Joy is already doing harmonies. Imani is artistic – she is trying adlibs and different levels of voices.
Donald Ohon is also musical, in case you did not know. They sang together back in the day. Now his hands are full with daddy and hubby responsibilities. “We sing a lot together – especially in the car,” says the diva with the Toni Braxton like negro-vibrato who sang with the legendary Mary Atieno in her teen days in a church her father pastored. Some of the art that has spilled over to the public domain includes Joy doing the Mwafaka Awards theme song and casting in Citizen TV’s Machachari TV show. Imani Hadassah is the sweet little girl in the OREO Cookie TV commercial that has stolen many hearts. And ‘Musa Faulu’ of Faulu Bank’s TV commercial is none other than Mr Donald Ohon himself.
Then if you peer into Rosy’s music videos, you shall see the family team work. They have not disappointed in the acting therein. Donald continues to support the singing financially or with his presence when he is available, says Rosy Ohon – one of Kenya’s most hardworking musicians.
Someone can easily disappear in motherhood…
Rosy agrees. She says sometimes she gets starved of deep adult talk especially when the world out there has sapped the best of Mr Ohon – such that he is in recovery mode when in the house i.e. not very chatty. They however make a deliberate effort to get themselves away from the bustle of responsibilities. “We take out time for ourselves,” she avers, “Like recently we took a mattress plus a few other things and drove to our new house which is undergoing the final fittings. He and I spent the entire evening there. ”How about the baby? “Hope and Joy are mature enough to look after the baby. I gave a few instructions, and they were good,” Mrs Ohon says. “Sometimes it’s a drive and sometimes it is dinner,” with the man she has sang fondly of in her song, He has given me.
She also likes a night out of dinning and good food with friends who add value to her life. The diva says she likes fashion and make up. She KNOWS how to look the part – check her out in her music videos.
She would love to see children growing up wholesomely
Back to her natural settings – motherliness, Rosy loves to shop for her family. “I come home and put down everything in the sitting room and dress up my family in the new stuff, I know their style. I like making their hair – I actually used to braid them. When they look great i like it!” she quips.
Her dream is to drive around and see no slum. She would love to see children growing up wholesomely – thus eventually having enough good to give to the society. “The culture in my house is that whatever you are not using is put aside – to be given out. And none of it should be tattered,” says the vocalist.
She would also be happy to know that her songs have been life-changing; encouraged someone, healed a broken heart, brought someone closer to who they are in God, and certainly made a mother – oh-so-MOTHERLY.