By Prudence Minayo
Sanaipei Tande is a Kenyan musician, songwriter, vocalist, media personality and actor. She made her entry into the world of music after taking part in Coca Cola pop stars in 2004. She has since established herself as a major player in the music industry. Sanaipei has collaborated with the likes of Jua Cali, Femi One, Kidum, Prezzo, Nadia Mukami and King Kaka.
She was born on 22nd March 1985.
Sanaipei attended Loreto Convent primary school in Mombasa. She then went to Mama Ngina High School before joining Aga Khan Secondary in Mombasa. She sat for her KCSE in St. Lucy Kiriri after her family moved to Ngong in Nairobi. Later, she joined Kenya Medical Training College to pursue a course in Pharmacy.
While still pursuing her course in Pharmacy, she got a chance to audition for Coca Cola Pop Stars. She was among the 14 finalist who proceeded to Mombasa where she was eliminated.
Upon her return to Nairobi, she got an opportunity to form the band Sema alongside Pam and Kevin. They signed a deal with Homeboyz and became a sensation releasing a 17-songs album.
Later, the band went their separate ways and she went on to have a solo career. She was featured in Jua Cali’s hit song Kwaheri and also had collaborations with Madtraxx and Big Pin.
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Her radio career was purely accidental. She was having an interview on Capital FM that impressed the late Chris Kirubi. The billionaire asked Eve D’ Souza to train her and that’s how Sanaipei started to co-host the show Hits not Homework.
She later joined Kiss FM to host the mid-morning show.
Sanaipei then left Kiss 100 and joined Easy FM, which changed to Nation FM. In 2013, her mid-morning show on the station was voted the most listened to in the country.
In 2014, she released a single named Mfalme wa Mapenzi.
In 2015, she left Easy FM and went on to release a number if singles including:
- Rasta Man
- Anka Huu
- Simama Imara
She was also featured in Najiuliza by Tanzania’s Chege Chigunda.
In 2018, she was featured in Otile Brown’s Chaguo la Moyo, which became a sensation on YouTube.
In 2020, she released a number of songs and collaborated with Nadia Mukami on the song Wangu, which was touted as the best collaboration of the year.
Her debut into the acting world was on the piss on the piss of popular Auntie Boss. She also made an appearance on Varshita.
In 2019, she starred on the Citizen TV’s hit series Aziza. The show, set in the coastal area of Kenya, was widely watched in the country even as Sanaipei grabbed the hearts of Kenyans with her impressive acting skills.
She was then featured on Kina as Nana Tandala.
Sanaipei has a brother. She credits her family for always being supportive of her career. It was her brother who insisted she auditions for the Coca Cola Pop stars and even went on to drive her to the auditions. Her parents have always been very supportive of her career. They have encouraged her and guided her along the journey.
The former radio presenter was in a six-year long relationship with Andrew Manga, a former musician and pilot. She said she really loved him but she realized she was not growing in the relationship.
“I loved him, still actually love him, not in love with him but I love him and I would still do things for him and with him,” she explained once in an interview.
The singer recently admitted that Maina Kageni told her she would never work again if she got pregnant for him. Of course, she refused as she was just starting out her career and was still very young at the time.
In an interview with Biko Zulu on the Singletons, she said in ten years she sees herself married with two children. She also added that marriage was not her ultimate goal in her life as it not a measure of one’s success but it would still be wonderful to be married.