‘Kuna watu na viatu’ is one of those songs that never loses its relevance in a world where good and evil co-exists. Although she has not been releasing new songs, Nyota Ndogo lyrical prowess and vocal abilities puts her among the best songstresses in Kenya. She has released back to back hits and worked with some big names in the East Africa music industry like Mr. Blue, Q Chilla and the now disbanded trio Necessary Noize. Thanks to her music she has performed in South Africa, Dubai and Germany among other countries. Hers is a real grass to grace story having started out at the very bottom. The singer believes that her journey in life is an inspiration and it should encourage others to also work hard.
“My life is a lesson to all girls out there. Your background or what you do to earn your living should not be a hindrance to your dream. When I post a picture of my house online I am not bragging like some people say I am. I am just encouraging people out there. It can be done,” she told The Standard in an interview. .
The musician’s real name is Mwanaisha Abdalla.
She was born in 1981.
The amazing lyricist hails from the coastal region of Mombasa. She dropped out of school and worked as a housemaid for year. Her father, Abdala Atib, was a musician with a local band giving her a foundation in music. However, her music inspiration was from the hip hop group K-South’s lyrics. She was discovered by a Mombasa based producer named Andrew Burchell.
Nyota Ndogo is one of the pioneers of contemporary music in Kenya. She has written several songs that tell a story of lyrics, lyrics with a message. The two songs that catapulted her to the limelight are Watu na Viatu followed by Nibebe which featured Nonini on the remix. Her songs are all about society and love, hence, they resonate with different groups of people.
The singer has a total of four albums:
- Nimetoka Mbali Mpenzi
- Mama Wakambo
Her song Take Care is featured on the international world 2003 compilation and Chereko on the Rough Guide to the Music of Kenya compilation.
She has represented Kenya in various festivals in East Africa including Sauti Za Busara and Ziff in Zanzibar.
Apart from singing, she was also employed at Mombasa based station Baraka FM and in 2013 was among the judges at the now defunct Tusker Project Fame.
- Won Kisima Award for Best Taarab singer in 2003
- Kisima Award for Best Female Singer in 2005
- Nominated for Best Kenyan female artiste at the 2007 PAM Awards.
- Her song Watu na Viatu was nominated for the Best East African Song at the 2007 Tanzania Music Awards.
- Three nominations for the 2008 Kisima Awards
- Won Best Coast Female Artist of the Year in 2013.
Nyota married her husband, Henning Nielsen in a colorful ceremony in 2016. She graced the occasion with a red wedding gown accompanied by her beautiful bridesmaids dresses in blue. The husband has three children from his previous marriage while Nyota has two from her previous relationship.
Marriage on the rocks
A joke on April’s Fools day seemed to have badly backfired on the artist. She had lied to her husband that she was pregnant. When he discovered it was a lie, he shut her from his life. Early in the year, Nyota had revealed that her husband who is in 70s cannot sire children because he underwent a vasectomy. The joke must have miffed Henning who has blocked her in all social media platforms. This has not stopped Nyota from trying to make amends. Her latest post read:
“My love do you remember this day? This was the day our body become one lakini pia this day Pia was the day we get bully yani tulipuliwa mpaka tunaenda mlima wa sagala kusoma comments I use to read for you what this my people walikua wanacooment but unakumbuka jumbe moja ulisoma ilikua inasema NYOTA UNAKAA KAMA MFU AMEFUFUKA. nikakusomea nikatranlate what you after me reading for you you hold me tight yani very tight then you said to me YOUR BEAUTIFUL my wife. UMENIBLOCK KILA MAHALI LAKINI GOOGLE itakupa ujumbe I will come to you if you don’t come here. Wewe mawe basi huna uruma Jamani,” hopefully with these kind of messages she will be forgiven.