A nine-year-old girl became an online sensation after she impressed the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party leader Raila Odinga during the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) consultative forum held in Kisumu County on Monday, February 8.
Shakira Shukri Ibrahim received a standing ovation and a fatherly hug from Raila as she recited a poem regarding what the BBI had in store for the country.
Raila was pleased with her performance so much so that he reportedly awarded her with monetary goodies. Raila also took to social media to praise the young girl's talent.
"Thank you 9-year-old Shukri Shakira from Kisumu for the powerful poem, wonderfully recited on what the BBI promise holds for our great Nation," he stated.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke Shakira's manager and talent developer Moses Otieno disclosed that the young girl's talent blossomed at a young age.
Shakira, born and raised in Kisumu county, began writing her first poems at the kindergarten level in Hekima Nursery school.
She then joined Aga Khan Primary School, Kisumu county, where she's currently in Grade 4. He revealed that Shakira still maintains her grades at top-level despite her busy schedule juggling between arts and school. According to the manager, her parents warmly received the notion of Shakira pursuing music and arts in general.
Apart from poetry, the manager revealed that the girl is multi-talented in various fields such as music, modelling, swimming, board games, skating. Furthermore, the manager recalled the time he met the sensational Shakira.
"I met her when she was four or five years old. She approached me and asked if she could pursue a career in music. I requested her to write a song and so she did. One year later, we recorded her first single," Otieno revealed.
Currently, Shakira has 13 songs to her name, having released her debut album titled For you mama in the year 2020.
"We try to make sure her songs are closely related to her life and also topics which range from the state of the Nation to the beautiful landscape and scenery of Kenya," he stated.
The manager also acknowledged that Shakira had performed for Kisumu County government on numerous occasions by either reciting a poem or singing a song.
Speaking on how the young girl managed to get a slot on the BBI forum schedule, Otieno stated that efforts from the Kisumu county government and Embakasi East MP Babu Owino made it possible.
"We contacted him(Babu Owino) and he questioned whether she could perform in front of the delegates at the stage, and we gave him assurance that Shukri was ready for the opportunity," Otieno stated.