By Prudence Minayo
Nyashinski is a Kenyan born musician who has remained evergreen over the years. His brand of music has endeared him to the young and old alike. The lyricist vocal abilities, stage presence and versatility has put him in the same league as Sauti Sol and other greats of our generation. The ‘comeback king’, as he has been referred to by a section of the media, has seen it all. From fame to obscurity and fame again. This is the musical journey of the award winning artist.
His real name is Nyamari Ongegu. The rapper dropped the name Inyatta from his official name on 10th April 2019 under unclear circumstances.
The Gazette notice read in part:
“Notice is given that by a deed poll dated the 10th April 2019 duly executed and registered in the registry of Documents at Nairobi.
“Formerly known as Inyatta Nyamari Ongegu formally and absolutely renounced and abandoned the use of his former name Inyatta Nyamari Ongegu, and in lieu thereof assumed and adopted the name Nyamari Ongegu, for all purposes and authorizes and requests all persons at all times to designate, describe and address him by his assumed name Nyamari Ongegu only”
The popular musician went to Nairobi School where his talent in music was nurtured. He then joined Kenyatta University to pursue Bachelors degree in Environmental Planning and Management but dropped out in his third year of studies, at least according to an interview on the Sunday Magazine. This account varies from an earlier interview on MyNetwork where he states that he has a Bachelor’s degree in environmental planning and management.
While at Nairobi school, he met two friends, Collo (Collins Majale) and Roba (Robert Nyamasa). The two started an all boys grouped called Kleptomaniax. The trio were under Ogopa DJ’s label and released their first single “Freak It” in 2002. This was followed by “Maniax Anthem” and “Haree.” In 2004, they released a song called “Tuendelee ama tusiendelee” which became a major hit among Kenyans. The song was in response to a “Diss track” by various hip hop artists who criticized the commercial kapuka music style performed by the likes of kleptomaniax. In 2005, they released their first album called M4E ( Maniax Forever). After a long run and touring America, the group split up to pursue a solo career. The group won several awards during their time together:
- 2002 Chat Awards (Best Male Group)
- 2003 Chat Awards (Best Male Group)
- 2005 Kisima Music Awards (Best Group)
They were also nominated for 2005 MTV Europe Music Awards (Best African Act), 2005 Kora Awards (Best Group from Eastern Africa), 2006 Tanzanian Music Awards (Best East African Album), 2008 Kisima Music Awards (Video of the year) and 2008 Pearl of Africa Music Awards (Best Kenyan Group).
When he was 21, his family got a chance to relocate to the United States. The rapper was very excited about this opportunity.
“ It was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. Growing up with that attention from my music may have stunted me somewhat. I was happy to leave Kenya. I had started getting tired of keeping up with the momentum of releasing good music. Plus the allure of the US we saw in the movies was enticing,” said Nyashinski in an interview with The Standard Media.
The celebrity parents wanted him to continue with his studies while in the US but he didn’t see the need and started looking for a job. A Kenyan resident got him a job that involved delivering proofs (slips that show proof of a transaction) to banks where he earned 900 dollars a week.
A brother-in-law told him of a better opportunity in Dallas that involved truck driving but he needed to go to school to learn how to drive trucks. When he called his father about hooking him up with USD5,000 for the school, the dad was shocked. He gave him the money that is an equivalent of half a million shillings to pay to pay the driving school.
The hit maker got into the job but he describes it as a lonely existence as one spends weeks on the road. Together with his brother-in-law, they were able to buy their own truck. During all these years, music was always at the back of his mind and he composed lyrics in his head until a friend told him they could visit a producer in the states. Later, he released a song and sent it to Collo to release it in the Kenyan market but the reception was poor. Nameless linked with him when he went to the states and loved his music and told him that maybe it was the right time to come home. After a while, he came back to Kenya and continued his solo career. (Source: The Standard).
While almost 99 percent of artists fail spectacularly when trying to make a comeback after years out of the game, for Nyansh it was different. He released hit after hit and in quick succession.
Charges Per Show
To book the A-list artist you must be prepared to pay kes500,000 and above, according to sokodirectory.
When Samsung approaches you to be their brand ambassador it means one thing: you are a big shot. Here is what the Samsung Head of Mobile at Samsung Kenya Charles Kimari shared about the partnership:
“Samsung is committed to deepening our partnership with local talent. In our eyes, Nyashinski has time and time again, personified our brand ethos – Do What You Can’t…”
“He is an artist with a purpose and a musician who brings people joy, which is why Samsung is proud to be associated with him.”
Nyashinski was elated saying that he “looks forward to connecting my fans with technology that makes life better in new ways. Any brand that challenges you to do what you can’t, and gives you the tools to do it, is a brand I believe in.”
The singer has been dating Zia Jepkemei Bett who is a successful fashion designer and they officiated the relationship through a traditional ceremony. The couple has been blessed with one child.