In western Kenya, gospel singer Daddy Owen was belting out hit songs to a crowd of more than 400 hollering, stamping, clapping, whistling, and singing fans.
The concert, staged on the back of a semi-trailer, was one of several organised by the gospel superstar to promote The Fred Hollows Foundation’s eye health campaign.
“The atmosphere was incredible,” said Mark Maina from The Foundation’s Kenya team.
“When he sang Tobina, the song that won the MTV African Music Award, everyone went wild,” he said. “The music just didn’t stop and everyone was dancing and singing for hours and hours.”
Clad in yellow jeans and a T shirt with “Macho Macho” on it, which means, “eyes, eyes,” Daddy Owen used the giant sound system – and his star power - to encourage spectators to get their eyes tested.
The 33-year-old lost one of his eyes when he was stabbed by a mob when he used to be a pickpocket in Nairobi. He still has a scar on his left eye and wears sunglasses.
After the incident he turned a new leaf and spends much time ensuring fellow Kenyans avoid the same calamity.
“I know what is means to lose sight and I will try my best to assist others to restore sight. I’m so passionate about it,” he said.
The singer’s Macho Macho roadshows are the first of their kind. Daddy Owen, his DJ, and small team spent two days in the Busia county and two days in Siaya.
Funded by The Foundation, the gospel concert campaign is expected to dramatically boost awareness of eye health, increase the number of people getting their eyes tested, and help the fight against avoidable blindness in Kenya.