By Prudence Minayo
King Kaka or Sungura (Rabbit) is one of the most sought after musicians in Kenya. His love for poetry greatly influences the style of music he performs. It is unique if not different-something akin to oral poetry fused with hip hop. The A-list rapper has created a huge fan base with his deep, meaningful lyrics that tell captivating stories. Unlike most rappers, full of blings and swag, the King prefers elegant well cut suits. In an interview with Pulse Live Kenya, he describes himself as simple, careful, creative and different. A lot of up coming musicians aspire to be like him but accomplishing that feat takes a lot of courage, hardwork and determination. As he once said in an interview with Citizen TV 4 years ago “Every glory has a story,” and below is a brief story of his journey to glory:
King Kaka and Sungura are just his stage names. He got the name Sungura when he was young since he was a cheeky fellow. The name on his identity card is Kennedy Ombima.
Kennedy Ombima was born on 7th May 1987. He is currently 33 years old.
King Kaka went to St. John’s Primary school before going to Eastleigh High School. During his high school days, he was made the entertainment prefect. He is credited with coming up with great talent events for both his school and other neighboring schools.
The musician has 2 brothers and a mother called Elizabeth. He lost his father, Julius Ombima, who was a house caretaker at Upperhill, while still in grade seven. Sungura even released a song about his father. His parents’ marriage was not a bed of roses and the fighting made him draw closer to his mother and built a lot of resentment for his dad. Unfortunately, he passed away before the songwriter could make peace with him, a decision he deeply regrets. The song is a wonderful encouragement for people to make peace with their parents while they still have the chance to do so. With the death of his father, his mum became the only support system for the family. At one time he wrote a touching 54th birthday message for his mom;
“ We could not afford kshs 500 ya rent Kanjo wakatufungia hao, since ilikua jioni you said tuvunje kifuli yao ati watoto wako hawawezi lala njee but by morning ulikua ushapata hiyo do ukarauka kwa ofisi zao paid pamoja na penalty. Unafaa uwekwe kwa the next DC movie as the super Mama, I would love the world ione how great you are……..” part of the Instagram post read.
Their mum was a get who worked so hard to ensure her 3 boys have a better life. The journey was rough as King has said so many times but today she must be so proud of how life turned out.
The artist is married to the lovely Nana Owiti. He is blessed with two girls ( Gweth and Ayanna) and named with Prince Iroma. Rabbit has another daughter from a previous fling with fellow musician Sage.
The king had very humble beginnings. In his high school days, he desired to be like his brother “Nutcase” who was a rapper but due to lack of money he ventured into the clothing business. At one time, he would wake up early in the morning to source ladies’ clothes from Gikomba market to sell them at city stadium. He proceeded to Imenti house where he was a graphic designer and designed stuff like business cards. Then, he met DJ Loop who was Chiwawa’s producer at the time and became fortunate enough to work in his studio. During this time, he learnt about a lot of things, including production. This paved a way for him to enter the music scene.
The artist recorded his music with DJ Loop’s (which is now Sneed music) after signing a two-year recording contract. In 2008, he released his first album “Tales of Kaka Sungura.” It featured hit singles, such as, “Niko Kwa Jam Nakam” and “Dodoma.” Dodoma featured Harry Kimani and was well received in the continent despite the lyrics being in Swahili. The talented songwriter has gone on to record and write many more songs which include:
- Dundaing (2018)
- Mbesa (2018)
- East Kwa Mabeast (2018)
- Staki Kukuona (2018)
- Njia (2018)
- Promised land (2016)
- Hatutoki (2016)
- Kichinjio (2016)
- Kionjo (2016)
- Wa (2016)
- Besha Shigana (2017)
- Run Ting (2017)
- Cheza Chini ft Wyre and Nazizi (2017)
- Wajinga nyinyi
This song released late last year is in form of a spoken word. It became a major hit as soon as it was released. The father of three portrays great courage by releasing this songs which condemns high profile politicians who are corrupt and Kenyans who continue to elect them. He even calls out some people by their names. The song received massive criticism and praise as well. Only a few people have the courage to release a song that will ruffle feathers with high profile individuals.
Kennedy Ombima is not only a successful musician but an entrepreneur as well. In 2012 he launched his own clothing line called “Niko Kwa Jam Nakam.”
In 2015, he started a water company called Kaka’s empire majik water which is contracted to supply water to institutions.
The Wajinga Nyinyi hitmaker also owns a recording label called Kaka empire, a brand which manages himself and other artists. Kaka Empire has grown from just a music production company to becoming a fully fledged artiste-management company with big names, such as, Avril, Femi one, Timmy Tdat and Owago Onyiro under it.
The suave businessman was at one time a lecturer of Zetech University based in Ruiru as part of the entrepreneurship, mentorship and music faculty.
The lyricist once revealed that he loves helping people and has lived to his words. He has started or been part of initiatives to help people across the country.
He was part of the Blaze be Your Own Boss (BYOB) initiative that sought to empower young entrepreneurs.
King Kaka worked on the Dreams Campaign alongside former captain of Kenya’s national football team, Musa Otieno.
The former Zetech University lecture also started the Tubonge initiative to help young people share their views. The initiative helped him get recognized by UNDOC and the organization named him UNDOC youth initiative East Africa ambassador.
Kennedy Ombima has also worked with UNICEF to create awareness among millions of children living in the arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya.
He is also a strong campaigner against gender based violence and started a countrywide sanitary bank initiative dubbed ‘ Bank on Me’ that earned him a speaking opportunity at the 2018 Goalkeepers Conference in New York by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.