Not even failing kidneys can stop the music…

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019 00:00 |
Award winning musician Gerriey Wainaina, his wife Viorica Aurora and their daughter. Photo/COURTESY

Though he was diagnosed with Stage Five renal inflammation, Gerriey WainaIna is unstoppable when it comes to his passion for music. His Romanian-born, American wife, Viorica Aurora lets us in on his health, career and family

When he moved to the US in 2017 in search of greener pastures, Gerriey Wainaina desired to succeed in his music career.

He tried his luck at the US Airforce as a musician driven by the belief that nothing could hinder his ambitions. However, a visit to a health practitioner for a medical report bore bad news.

“Gerriey was required to undergo various tests before being admitted to the force. Unfortunately, he tested positive for tuberculosis,” says his wife Viorica Aurora.

Because of the strong effect TB drugs usually have on kidneys, tests had to be carried out to find out whether Wainaina’s kidneys were okay and if he could begin the six-month TB treatment.

That is when the doctors discovered he had stage five renal (interstitial nephritis) inflammation that left his kidney function at only nine per cent.


“We were shocked and confused. Wainaina had no pain before the diagnosis. It was one of the toughest moments in our life; coming to terms with the diagnosis, raising money for treatment, but God has been with us,” she says. 

He has been undergoing dialysis since 2017 as he awaits a permanent solution — a kidney transplant. But he is not about to slow down in his music career.

He has continued to perform in big platforms such as at an event hosted by the Bill Gates Foundation in Seattle recently. He is also working on a saxophone worship album and more singles.

Born in Eldoret, Wainaina is the second son of four children. He recalls his humble beginnings when he would break stones in a quarry just to buy school shoes.

His late father introduced him to music at an early age. His dad used to perform in Eldoret during public holidays and in churches.

He taught Wainaina how to play the guitar as well as perform skits. The skills he acquired made him and a couple of his friends form an acapella group in 2004. They sang in churches and at events all over Eldoret. 

After his secondary education, a friend told him of a group from Nairobi that was conducting auditions.

Wainaina tried his luck and was successful. He was part of the group that later on formed Sarakasi dancers.

He then began performing in churches before one of his friends, who is also a musician, introduced him to teaching music. 

“Wainaina began tutoring one-on-one classes before joining Riara School where he taught students for 10 years. Riara was a great platform where Wainaina refined his music skills,” she says. 

His work has not gone unnoticed as he was the winner of Talent Mania Awards [Kenya] 2008, a nominee at Groove Awards [Kenya] 2010, Talanta Awards USA 2010 and Sauti Awards USA 2015.

Moreover, he was voted winner of the ‘Artist of the Year’ award at the Xtreme Teeniez Awards 2013. His song Amani  won ‘Song of the Year for Peace’ under All African Council of Churches in 2010.

He got‘Diaspora’s Best Saxophonist’ award at the Diaspora Awards Seattle 2018. He has collaborated with Bahati, Daddy Owen, judge Ian Mbugua and Mbuvi who later on played the role of a best man during his wedding on December 13, 2014. 

Love life 

Wainaina and Aurora met in 2009. She had come to visit a children’s home as a student from Biola University (USA).

Wainaina says he was looking for a God-fearing woman and one who could love him for who he was. That is what he saw in Aurora. 

After the school mission, she went back to US and they resulted to long distance relationship, keeping in touch on Facebook and Skype. In 2014, Aurora came back for a visit.

The lovebirds had their engagement at Windsor. They have now been married three years and have a daughter to cement their union.

“He is a loving husband and father. I love his commitment to God—he has kept his faith despite his health condition,” she says.

However, their biggest challenge is blending their cultures. Wainaina is a Kenyan, and Aurora, was born in Romania, but raised in the US.

“It is good that we understand one another, and we always come to a middle ground when it comes to culture and how to raise our daughter,” Aurora says.

Wainaina loves the orderly life in the US and the fact that the land is full of opportunities. 

“Here, things are done in an orderly manner. People observe the laws. No chaotic life on the road. People follow traffic rules, they don’t litter and there are job opportunities,” he says.

He had applied for a US Visa unsuccessfully in 2010 when he was nominated for Talent Mania, an award he was to receive in the US. He tried his luck again in 2016 and was successful.

Sadly, his dad who doubled up as his mentor passed away shortly after receiving the good news. He was laid to rest just before Wainaina travelled to the US. 

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