In the world all over, people have have become famous for various reasons. While some have gained fame through sheer hard work and determination, others, the glitz and glamour fell on their lap like they had just crossed the Nile.
The internet, social media, in particular is responsible for a majority of the world’s ‘accidental’ celebrities. These individuals become famous overnight, knowingly or unknowingly. In most instances, a video or image of them was shared online instantly making them famous.
Fame is craved by a majority of the world population, however, maintaining the popularity is not as easy as it may seem. In this article, WoK has put together a list of Kenyan celebrities who became overnight celebrities but later returned to their old lives.
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Martin Kamotho Njenga popularly known as Githeri Man rose shot to fame during the August 8, 2017, general elections. On that day, the world knew about the man with his lunch in a plastic bag queuing to vote.
Soon after a photo of him went viral, he was invited to interviews on various television stations locally including Citizen TV, and was also featured globally by media houses including France 24.
Hilarious memes of Njenga did rounds online, as he was photoshopped into images.
However, while the rest of the country thinks that Njenga became a millionaire after that, he went back to his normal life. In a 2020 interview, he revealed that he was an employee of the Nairobi City Council adding that life hadn’t changed much since he went viral.
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He was invited to have lunch at State House, and the second time he was invited, he was given the State House recommendation, and since then, he has never been to State House.
“There was no money I was given except the lunch the president gave me. However, there were people who would give me Ksh500 or Ksh2000 when we meet,” he said.
Githeri man spotted after leaving rehab The famous man was in 2019 spotted drinking barely seven months after graduating from Mama Care Rehabilitation Centre. Photos of him circulated online with social media users empathising and criticising him for his drinking spree.
In the photo, he could be seen drunk and carried by people on a cart.
Michael Njogo Gitonga
He rose to fame for his uncanny resemblance to President Uhuru Kenyatta.
When his photos first made to social media, he was trended for days, attracting corporates and sponsors who wanted to ‘uplift’ him.
Gitonga was the recipient of holiday trips with his family, and at one point, he was allegedly gifted a car, there were even images of him in a car, but he refuted the claims during an interview with Churchill Nadmbuki.
After the buzz, Gitonga went back to his life as usual, however, while Kenyans thought that he had become a millionaire, he was back to his usual hustle.
He recently declared his interest in running for president during the August 9, 2022, general elections.
Wilson Mutura and Ann Mutura
The couple rose to fame after they held a wedding for a total budget of Ksh100. Their touching story of pure love appealed to Kenyans, attracting a host of well wishers and sponsors in the process.
Bonfire Adventures gifted them a fully paid honeymoon trip, Diamond Properties also invested an eight-acre plot valued at Ksh500,000 and also set up a Ksh320,000 greenhouse for them in Isinya, Kajiado County.
However, they would later be forced to sell all their properties so as to sustain their livelihood. The husband, Wilson Mutura went back on the road selling apples to meet their daily needs.
Sammie Githae and Virginia Njeri (Street Couple)
Sammy Githae (Blackie) and his girlfriend Virginia Njeri became overnight celebrities after images of them in a Valentines Day shoot went viral online. In the images, the couple shared a collage of their photos living in the streets, and that of their transformation, attracting applause from the public.
The family was treated to a holiday vacation in Mombasa among other endorsements from sponsors and well wishers.
However, their stint as celebrities was shortlived as barely a year after, they were back to their normal lives, living in the streets, jobless and homeless.
According to reports, Blackie was offered a job Bonfire Adventures in Kericho as a driver after taking him through driving school but he declined offer saying he was not ready to leave Nairobi.
“They said they would get us a car wash (business) and promised us better lives. Our rent was paid for four months but after that our lives changed. We couldn’t raise rent because we didn’t have jobs,” Blackie told a local daily during a past interview.
The name sure does not ring a bell, but, the words “mbigginji imekulwa na ndongii” sure do.
The young girl who the country came to know only as Happiness went viral after she said the words “mbinginji imekulwa na ndongii (the chewing gum has been eaten by the dog)”, exciting many with her heavy Meru accent.
The video went viral online, attracting Kenyan Gengetone group, Ochungulo family who released a hit song with the words “mbigginji imekulwa na ndongii” as the hook.
Following the release of the song, the artistes mounted a search for the girl and offered to pay her school fees for a whole year since she hailed from a poor background.
The music group also invited well wishers and sponsors to chip in and help educate the young girl.
However, while it remains unclear where Happiness is currently, her fame, was shortlived.
Mbiginjii imekulwa na ndogii🤣🤣#mbiginjii #ndogii pic.twitter.com/cWIEWjsVfz
— Octeeve (@Octeeve) September 6, 2019
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