By Prudence Minayo
Kenya is full of talented musicians, some of whom have gone on to receive international acclaim and put the country in the world map. Although it is hard to break through the industry, it is not impossible. Success in the music industry is not only a ticket to fame but may also be a way to gain a lavish lifestyle that some can only dream of.
In the past decades, the music industry has grown and people are receiving decent money through brand endorsements and royalties.
This article takes a look at some of the richest musicians in Kenya who prove that nothing is impossible. That it doesn’t matter where you come from, as long as you hold on to your dream and work on it, then great things can happen. The list is in no particular order.
His real name is Charles Njaguar Kanyi and his story is all about consistency. He lost his mother and had to survive by hustling on small time jobs. In 2004, he made his debut in the music and has since grown to be a household name.
Although he has taken a break from music, his song ‘Kigeugeu’ has remained in the lips of Kenyans to date. He is currently the Member of Parliament for Starehe constituency and also an entrepreneur and property owner. It was reported that during State functions, he could make up to kes1 million for a single performance.
Esther Akoth is a popular Kenyan musician who has dubbed herself the president of single mothers, aka, madam boss. She lives a lavish lifestyle and is able to take her kids to some of the best schools in the country.
The singer had a very humble beginning and at one point of her life she used to sell in the market just to put food on her table. Fortune rained down on her as her hard work and determination to succeed finally paid off. Gone are the days of poverty, and today she enjoys immense success as an entrepreneur and musician. She is the owner of Akothee Safaris, a travel and tour company offering clients a chance to tour the world and owns a palatial home in Rongo, that oozes luxury and class.
Real name: Linet Munyali.
On a number of occasions, she has revealed that she came from a poor background. They slept hungry on a number of occasions and her parents struggled paying school fees for the ‘Mateke’ hitmaker.
She made her debut in the music industry as a secular musician and released hit songs, like, Shamba boy, Vidonge and Silali.
It came as a shock to many when in 2013, she decided to join the gospel industry when her secular career was at the peak. Today, she is married to DJ Mo and has released several gospel hit songs like Mateke. The singer lives a lavish lifestyle in an elegant luxurious mansion. She is an ambassador for a number of brands and has a reality show known as Dine With The Murayas.
His source of wealth is a mystery but the man of God lives the life of the rich and famous. He drives state of the art cars and has a house in Runda.
Kevin Mbuvi, aka, Bahati, is a popular gospel musician who also sings secular love songs. He was orphaned at a young age and grew up in a children’s home but that did not stop him from realising his dream.
In 2012, he rose to fame with the single ‘Siku Ya Kwanza’ and went on to release other hit songs like ‘Barua.’ The artist then went on to win the Groove Awards and become a popular musician making money through performing on various political and social functions and endorsing several brands.
He then formed a YouTube channel which has millions of views and signed a multi-million deal for a reality show with Nation Media Group’s NTV. The singer owns a luxurious house and drives expensive machines.
His secular songs have also garnered thousands of views within a short time and he is definitely headed for a prosperous career in the secular world if the recent success is anything to go by.
He is one of the best rappers in East Africa if not Africa. His songs, the detail in production and delivery are a true work of art. Khaligraph, popularly known as the OG, is a man whose music has gone beyond the boundaries of Kenya and he has done a number of collaborations both locally and internationally.
He went from a young struggling man in Kayole to one of the best and richest musicians in the country. Performing on various stages in Kenya and the world has proven to be a huge success. Today the rapper enjoys a life that many wish to have and is a source of inspiration to many. The artist has been nominated for the BET award.
Real name, David Mathenge.
Many say he is the pioneer of contemporary secular music in Kenya. Nameless rose to fame in 1999 through a star-search contest on Capital FM, Kenya’s urban music station with his song ‘Megarider.’ The secular artist has released a number of hit songs and won many awards including 2008 Kisima Music Awards as Male Artist of the Year and Best Video, 2008 Pearl of Africa Music Awards as Best Kenyan Male Artist and 2009 MTV Africa Music Awards as Best Male and Listener’s Choice.
With such a successful music career, it is no surprise that he is one of the richest musicians in the country and despite being in the industry for long, he still maintains relevance. According to some sources his net worth runs in millions.. He is the owner of a luxurious house and a successful entrepreneur as well. The singer has also done numerous endorsements for brands and earned a considerable amount of money.
Real name, Hubert Mbuku.
He is one of Kenya’s most famous and richest urban musicians and often referred to as the Godfather of Genge. He has three albums that received massive airplay in local stations making him the highest paid artist by MCSK in 2012.
The 38-year-old enjoys a successful music career and has performed on various functions and also toured a number of countries in Africa and beyond. He enjoys a luxurious lifestyle and has made it to several lists of top ten richest musicians in Kenya.
Real name, Kevin Waire.
Wyre has performed in a number of countries including Uganda and Nigeria. He has also collaborated with notable international musicians, such as, P-square, 2Face Idibia, Morgan Heritage, Cecile and Alaine.
He has been nominated and won several awards, such as, the 2015 Bingwa Awards as the Ever Relevant Artist.
Through his music, Wyre has been able to amass a considerable amount of wealth. It is reported that he enjoys quite a good life and has made it into the top ten richest musicians in Kenya list on several articles.
Muthoni the Drummer Queen
The singer is known for her colorful hairstyles and unique fashion sense. Although most of the people in this list have released music in Kenya, Muthoni mostly performs internationally. She produces alternative electro hip hop music.
The hip hop artist has won a number of international awards and is the founder of Blankets and Wines which was a big success.
Real name, Wilson Abubakar Radido.
He became famous with singles released earlier in his career. His song ‘Sitolia’ received massive airplay on several local stations and Willy went on to receive international recognition as a gospel artist. Through his music, he was able to acquire considerable wealth.
Later on, he changed from gospel to secular at a time when he was widely known. The musician enjoys a luxurious life with his music career having paid off. His songs have been a hit from the very first time and he has performed in political/ state events which are known to pay musicians handsomely.