Collins Majale popularly known as Collo made his name as one of Kenya’s greatest ever and pioneer rappers as part of the rap group Kleptomaniax alongside Nyamari Ongegu alias Nyashinski and Robah. The legendary music group released a number of songs that became anthems in the local entertainment industry.
The group dropped hits such as “Tuendelee ama tusiendelee”, and “Swing swing”, among others, endearing themselves to the hearts of fans as one of the best music groups the country has ever had.
The group later split with each of the members going separate ways. Collo ended up in the corporate world, working for a leading advertising company. From his earnings in music and the huge salary he was pocketing, many would assume that he was set for life.
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However, the rapper went on to endure some of the toughest times in his life, finding himself buried deep in multi-million debts, alcoholism, drugs, p0rn and [email protected]@ti0n addiction.
Here is a story of how Collo went broke then clawed back from his troubles as told by WoK. The rapper has been to hell and back, but now enjoys a good relationship with his family and has found himself in the gospel industry as well as youth empowerment.
In a 2020 interview with Kiss FM, the rapper narrated how he went from being rich and employed to being jobless, an alcoholic, had millions in debts, and had a strained relationship with his family.
Collo narrated that he worked as a copywriter at Scanad which is part of ScanGroup, a leading communications firm where he earned Ksh250,000 per month as salary. At the time, he was also into singing. Every month, he pitched at least ten jingles per month to multiple clients which would, in turn, earn him an extra Ksh700,000.
At the time, he was buried deep in alcoholism unaware that his fortunes would change for the worst.
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“I was a copywriter getting Ksh250,000 every month. And then, I also believed that it didn’t hurt to present a jingle idea to any of the client services within whatever account at any agency, so I was a supplier.
“In a month I would write at least ten jingles for different brands and it would give me lets say, Ksh700,000 extra. Money was never the issue but I never saw that money because my spirituality wasn’t lit. That money ended up in creating more debts,” he stated.
One day, as they undertook a campaign project for a client, he got into an argument with his superiors and this cost him his job.
“There were people who were giving the client a raw deal at that time. I said something I shouldn’t have said, or rather I said it innocently and it offended one of the bosses,” Collo stated.
“By the time I was leaving the agency, I was in a very dark place. I was depressed, I was an alcoholic, I was a chain smoker and my sexual deviance was crazy. There was a lot of debauchery going on in my life at that time, which of course I can’t say that I am proud of but I am thanking God for the process and the grace that he enabled me.”
He was addicted to [email protected]@tion, adding that many people suffer from it in silence.
“Living for the flesh. That was my one great mistake. I regret that I was addicted to [email protected] and [email protected]@tion. I tell men that every time you masturbate, you are giving birth to spiritual babies and it blocks you from having babies when it is the right time,” he told The Standard.
At the time, he owed Ksh3.5 million to a bank.
Collo’s daughter stayed home for three months for lack of school fees and his electricity was disconnected for four months for failure to par the bill.
He revealed that at the time, he contemplated travelling to the US to live with his mother. Auctioneers raided his home and took his car and title deeds to some plots he had acquired.
Support from wife
Collo’s wife, Phoebe remained strong in prayer, and asked him to accompany her to church which led to his salvation. She was not happy with what he had done, but she remained supportive.
“Our relationship was obviously, due to the choices I was making, at rock bottom. It was such a dark time in my life. I was so bitter. I was down. I contemplated so many things, even just leaving the country.
“It was not an easy thing for her. I really needed help. Any other woman would have left. But Phoebe is my best friend. She stayed. I wouldn’t trade that woman for anything,” he said.
The rapper admitted that Phoebe’s Faith in God and their marriage saved his life and as soon as he embraced faith, his mindset changed too.
“She would pray for me. Every day. Through her, I came to believe in the power of a prayerful woman. And later in the same year, I realised that I needed to change my life. It was all going down the drain. I decided to try out salvation. Maybe it would steer me right.
“That was undoubtedly the most defining moment of my life, and it changed the course of my life. My life brightened up so fast. I stopped the debauchery and in 2015, quit all the drugs and alcohol. I was ready to find a new path,” He stated.
“The first thing I needed to do was formalise the union with the one person who had been by my side. We planned a wedding. It was time to do right by her. It was a beautiful event. Arguably one of the top three happiest moments of my life. The other two being the birth of my child and the day I found salvation.”
Friends Abandoned him
Collo stated that getting saved transformed his life for the better, noting that during that time, people he referred to as friends abandoned him.
“I had a phone book with over 5,000 contacts that I thought I knew. I thought I knew a real estate mogul, I thought I knew so and so. My friend, know Jesus,” he stated.
He prayed to God to give him one song that would change his fortunes for the better, and that is when he teamed up with choreographer Bruz Newton and together they released the hit song Bazo Kizo.
Though production of the video was held back by the lack of money, the song went on to become a massive hit, perhaps one of the leading Kenyan songs of 2016.
The song also earned him an endorsement deal with one of the world’s biggest phone manufacturers as they marketed new products in Kenya.
Collo has since gone on to produce several songs