From being entertainers to giving us art and music and being role models to the youth, celebrities play a crucial role in today’s society. They act as mirrors of our society, keeping topics relevant and bringing different conversations to light. As an audience, we celebrate the part that they play in our lives.
In Kenya, we have musicians from various different genres of music, actors and actresses who have excelled time and time again in different performances, public figures and athletes; all of whom could teach us different things and make us see the world in a different way. So, what can we learn from them?
- To keep trying, until you are successful.
Recently, I watched an interview whereby gospel singer Bahati spoke candidly about his life. He lost his mother at a young age, and later his father, too, rendering him an orphan. Having loved music from his time in high school, the young musician stopped at nothing to get to where he is today. His humble beginnings did not hinder his ambition and determination, which is quite inspiring and remarkable. The talented 22 year old who was brought up in ABC children’s home in Kariobangi talks about his passion to let people know that “You can be someone in life”. He didn’t give up on his quest to become successful, and aims to accomplish a lot more in life.
- International success is possible.
It’s no secret that Lupita Nyong’o has stolen hearts across the world with her incredible acting skills and charm, but she’s also done what many would deem impossible; broken out of the local scene to international screens. The award-winning actress always knew what she wanted to achieve, and went after it unceasingly. She continues to do the country proud with multiple roles, awards and recognition.
Sauti Sol are certainly a group to admire. From esteemed nominations like Best International act Africa- BET; to MTV Africa Music Awards- Best group and Best song, it’s hard to imagine what else they can’t do. The group have bagged several well deserved awards such as MTV Europe Music Awards- Best African Act among others. They are soulfully reminding us what good music is all about with their smooth singing, dancing and artistic ways.
- Remembering our roots.
Does anyone else get that peaceful “zilizopendwa” vibe from Hart the band? One is tempted to break into “the twist” while listening to “Nikikutazama” or even Elani’s 2014 track “Zuzu”. Different bands and groups are bringing out that Kenyan vibe to their songs, filling listeners with pride and love for where they come from.
It’s not just about singing in Swahili, but artists across the country represent different regions they came from, allowing us to identify with them on another level. Say, for example the way Octopizzo reps Kibera or the way Mejja reps Calif. The youth in those areas probably feel recognized and appreciated by artists that hail from similar roots.
- Celebrity relationships can last, too.
The other day I stalked singer Wahu’s Instagram for a minute, and found a post from earlier this year where she said, “ Sept. 10, 2005. The day I said I do to my soul mate. Seems just like the other day! 10 years, 2 beautiful girls and many beautiful memories later, you’re still the one. Happy anniversary babe.”
And she’s not the only one paying tribute. Nameless also posted, “Today marks 10 years since the day your parents handed you to me to be my wife. I cannot explain the meaning you have brought into my life. You have been with me through thick and thin, through triumphs and failures. You have taken me with all my strengths and weaknesses and have stood by me through the best and worst moments. We have hustled together, and are still hustling together. You are my ride or die! Happy anniversary.”
Well, wipe those tears that are threatening to roll down your cheeks. That goes to show that celebrity marriages do, and in fact can last, so don’t believe all the negative hype more so from western celebrities!
- You can make money locally, a lot of it.
Just ask musician and entrepreneur, Jaguar. The kipepeo singer hasn’t exactly declared his net worth, so I’ll just go by the fleet of businesses, expensive cars as well as the fact that the MCSK- Music Copyright Society of Kenya listed him as the top earning musician in 2014.
Other artists have also done well for themselves. While more needs to be done to ensure that artists do earn fully from the fruits of their labour, and that piracy is curbed completely. It is great to see that musicians are able to improve their living standards and enjoy the results of their hard work.
Those are just a few of the things we can learn from our local celebrities, as every day there is a new lessons. There are also many unmentioned famous figures on the above list, but it goes without say that they all have something special to teach us.