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Marakwet Daughter: ‘Mali Safi Chito’ Hitmaker’s Inspiring Journey From Class 8 Dropout To Overnight Sensation

Millicent Jerotich, popularly known as Marakwet Daughter, has become a household name after her hit song Mali Safi Chito captivated social media. 

Although this was not her first song, it has gone viral beyond all her expectations. 

In an exclusive interview with Citizen Digital, Jerotich narrated the difficult life she has endured as a singer, sometimes going weeks without food, and how she ended up recording the song through well-wishers.

This is her journey as told by WoK

Early Struggles

Jerotich’s story is one of struggle from her very beginning in Marakwet County. 

Raised by her stepmother amidst economic hardships, her education pinnacle was class 8. 

Married at 16, her challenges continued into adulthood as she navigated a troubled marriage, facing divorce at 21 with a child in tow. 

However, her singing talent was apparent at a young age. 

“As a Sunday schooler, I would be invited to lead our church in praise and worship. I also led the school choir and performed in other events such as weddings,” she said. 

She started as a secular artist before transitioning to gospel music in 2018. 

Before releasing her recent hit, she had sung plenty of songs but without much headway. 

“Fellow artists and fans had lost faith in me because it did not seem like I was heading anywhere. They had started despising me because I had mark-timed for a very long time,” she said.

 However, faith and determination kept her going, even during the darkest times.

A Musical Miracle

According to Jerotich, her recent hit song Mali Safi Chito is an expression of admiration towards someone, with “Chito” being a Kalenjin word meaning “someone.”

“Couples can sing the song to each other. Parents can also sing the song to their children,” she said.

Although she wrote the song between January and February 2021, her plan was to release it in November this year to coincide with the festive period.  

However, she did not have the money. 

In a stroke of luck, a generous well-wisher gifted her sh 2, 500 at a friend’s burial. 

With this unexpected sum, Jerotich approached her producer, who agreed to record the song for half the usual cost.

She then posted the song on YouTube as an audio and shared it with her Whatsapp contacts. 

One of her friends liked it so much that she decided to do a TikTok challenge with it.

Within hours, it had gone viral. The views on TikTok were raking up by the minute. 

“It was a miracle. When I woke up the next morning, the song was all over social media,” said Jerotich.  

Music Video

The mounting popularity of Mali Safi Chito demanded a music video, and despite financial constraints, Jerotich found a videographer who believed in her talent.

For lack of a better venue, they decided to shoot the video at Kamarein Forest. 

“We had approached hotels, but they demanded we pay between sh 7, 000 and 10, 000. Because we did not have the money, we decided to go to a forest,” she said. 

The gamble paid off. 

In just three weeks, the video garnered an incredible 1.5 million views, solidifying its place in history as the first Kalenjin song to achieve such a milestone.

Unexpected Stardom

The success of Mali Safi Chito has opened doors for Jerotich.

She has received Invitations to perform at events such as the Belgut Technical Training Institute bus launch and Chamgei FM’s 18th-anniversary celebration.  

She now waits in anticipation for YouTube’s verdict on financial compensation for the views. 

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