Celebrity glamour is not always about flashy cars and expensive watches – sometimes the numbers are just a borrowed taste to hide the real face of poverty. In this list, we uncover five of the poorest Kenyan celebrities who almost had it all but ended up in abject poverty.
Shaevy and Slice
A few years ago, Shaevy and Slice set a high bar in dancehall music after they released their hit song, Gyal. The song was so popular that it received lots of upvotes in Jamaica and still remains one of the most played songs in clubs today.
Unfortunately, the brains behind the song, Shaevy and Slice, were not so lucky. From poor management to drugs and alcohol, the talented duo ended up missing out on good record deals and are now your average hustlers.
Shaevy is rumored to be a conductor in the Kayole route while his music counterpart, Slice, spends most of his days smoking weed in his parents’ crib.
Bobby Mapesa was once branded as the face of Kenyan hip hop. His smooth rhymes and creative lyrics seemed to charm their way to music fans and it was clear that he was going far.
But with the dawn of a new generation came new music trends and Bobby was too slow to keep up with the fast-changing drift in modern music. Soon, the once-promising artist was kicked out of the music scene and his music was rendered obsolete.
But a man’s gotta eat. Bobby Mapesa later figured out an easier way to make money by conning upcoming artists for a feature only to disappear with their money. His tricks were, however, short-lived after he was exposed as a con artist. At the time, it was rumored that Bobby Mapesa was living in a single room in Huruma.
Remember the 2006 “Under 18” club banger? Yeah, we all do. Jimwat was once one of the most promising rappers in Kenyan music. Signed under Calif Records, he was producing hit after hit and growing his fanbase by the day.
Jimwat was nominated and won the 2006 Chaguo La Teeniez Awards as the Favorite Artist of the Year. But his success in music pretty much went downhill after that.
In a recent interview, King Kaka opened up about how Jimwat denied him a feature back when he was coming. Back then, Jimwat was every upcoming artist’s dream for a collabo, but he ended up denying King Kaka the chance.
Tables have now since turned and Jimwat is just an ordinary bar visitor in Kikuyu town. It is rumored that he still lives with his parents after all his attempts to make a comeback in music failed.
Hopekid rose to fame after he won the 2013 Groove Awards thanks to his gospel ragga music. While he is publicly a gospel advocator, his personal life can easily be summarised by one word – scam.
In 2016, Hopekid was rumored to be a con artist who preyed on churches and private gospel functions. It was rumored that he was struggling to pay his bills in his home town, Kayole, and had to settle for conmanship to raise the money.
Earlier this year, Hopekid was faced with yet another scandal after he was reported to have raped a young girl in Nakuru along with his friend DK Kwenye Beat which left the innocent girl infected with an STI
Kristoff is a big name in Kenyan music right now, and for the most part, we can safely assume that he is doing well. In a thread done on Twitter, however, Kristoff is, apparently, a big joke both in and outside Kenyan music.
Looking closer at his music stats online, his singles rarely hit 50K views on YouTube and he will usually depend on collaborations to get his personal brand out there. We can, therefore, assume that his success in music is only dependent on bigger celebrities, and luckily for him, they are generous enough to him grow.
Nonetheless, Kenyans are a tough crowd. Many local music fans are yet to appreciate his musical talent and many have admitted that they would never pay for a Kristoff concert unless there was a “more talented” artist lined up for the show too.