The Kenyan entertainment industry boasts of hundreds of immensely talented artists. The Kenyan music industry, in particular, has grown tremendously over the years, attracting a crop of talented musicians with fresh tunes that appeal to both local and international fanatics, making a lot of money in the process. If you want to know how wealthy your favourite Kenyan musician is, this article reveals the top 10 richest musicians in Kenya and their net worth.
Many top Kenyan musicians make money from their music sales, shows, and brand endorsements. Most of them have invested their money in different businesses, making themselves wealthy and living their dreams. Some started with only their musical talent and rose to fame, gradually positioning themselves among Kenya’s richest musicians.
Different Ways Kenyan Musicians Make Money.
In this digital era, musicians generate their income not only through music sales. Below are different ways through which Kenyan musicians make money:
- Music royalties: Money that different platforms collect on behalf of the musicians and pay them when their music is sold or used in various ways. Examples of those platforms are Skiza Tunes, Spotify, Boom Play Music, Mdundo, iTunes, and Apple Music.
- Music album sales: When musicians release their albums, they sell them to their fans. Their prices vary from one musician to another.
- Music shows and tours: Musicians organize shows in different cities where their fans pay to watch them perform live on stage.
- Side jobs: Many Kenyan musicians also have side jobs where they regularly work, like emceeing in events, being radio hosts/co-hosts, and other entertainment-related jobs.
- Business investments: Many Kenyan musicians have invested in different businesses like music recording companies and venturing into real estate.
- Youtube channels: Apart from advertising their works by uploading their music videos on youtube, Kenyan musicians also earn through Youtube views from their subscribers and fans. Many of them have monetized their Youtube channels and are making a lot of money.
- Brand Endorsements: Because of their fame and influence, musicians are usually offered multi-million brand endorsement deals by big companies to promote and market their brands.
List of Top 10 Richest Musicians In Kenya and their Net worth
Real name: Esther Akoth.
Net worth: Ksh.600 million.
Akothee is one of the richest musicians in Kenya. She was born on 8th April 1980 in Migori county. She is a single mother of five children, which has earned her a nickname from her fans who fondly refer to her as “President of the single mothers.” Apart from being a talented musician, Akothee is also a songwriter, philanthropist, and successful entrepreneur.
Akothee’s early life was a bit tough. After having her first child at only 14, she worked for her mother-in-law as a housemaid. However, her mother-in-law sent her away after living with her for seven years. She also revealed that she once worked as an Omena vendor in Migori and a taxi driver in Mombasa after separating from her ex-husband.
Today, Akothee is one of the richest musicians in Kenya, making money from the sale of her music and her live performances. She also has a tour company called Akothee Safaris, based in Nairobi. Akothee is not afraid to flaunt her assets in public. She has always posted updates on social media on the lavish gifts she gives her children during their birthdays.
2. Sauti Sol
Net worth: ksh.400 million.
Sauti Sol is a Kenyan boy band formed in 2005 as an acapella group. The Afro-pop band consists of four singers, namely: Savara Mudigi(vocalists), Bien-Aimé Baraza(vocalists), Willis Chimano(vocalists), and Polycarp Otieno(Guitarist). The group name “Sauti” is a Swahili name for “voice,” while Sol means “sun” in Spanish. When conjoined, the two words loosely translate to “voices in the sun.” They immediately wrote their first song, “Mafunzo ya Dunia,” which later featured in their first album called “Mwanzo.”
Penya Records was the first record company to sign Sauti Sol. The record label helped produce and release their first studio album, “Mwanzo,” in 2009. They released their second album, “Filosofia” in 2011. One of their songs titled “coming home” in the album won the best music video of the year award at the Kisima Music Awards that year. The group was also named the Best Fusion Group of the Year. They have since won several other local and international awards.
Today, Sauti Sol is a household name locally and internationally. The group’s members are hard-working. To the utter surprise of their fans, they have stuck together for a long time. They have consistently written, sang, and released songs, making hit after hit, earning them a lot of money from music sales, brand endorsements, and performances.
Real name: Charles Njagua Kanyi
Net worth: Ksh.350 million
Jaguar is one of the richest musicians in Kenya today. He started music back in 2004 when he recorded and released his first song, “Utaweza Kweli,” produced by Mandugu Digitali records. He later signed a record deal with the once-popular music recording company Ogopa Deejays, in 2005, where his career took the right turn. He released several hit songs with Ogopa Deejays like “Kigeugeu,” which became an East African “anthem,” putting him in the spotlight and winning local and international awards.
In 2013, Jaguar left Ogopa Deejays and signed a recording deal with Main Switch Studios, owned by Philip Maganda, who previously worked with him at Ogopa Deejays. While there, he released even more hit songs, including Kioo, One Centimetre, and Kipepeo, among others. He collaborated with other African artists like South Africa’s Mafikizolo and Iyanya from Nigeria.
In 2015, Jaguar was made the National Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) director before vying and winning Starehe Constituency parliamentary seat on Jubilee Party’s ticket. He has served as a member of parliament for the Starehe constituency until now.
Jaguar is a wealthy musician and politician who rose to fame because of his musical talent from humble beginnings. He owns a fleet of luxurious vehicles and is also in the real estate business. Despite his wealth, he is a humble individual and a philanthropist who has helped pay school fees for several less fortunate school kids. Jaguar is married and is a father of three children.
Real name: David Mathenge
Net worth: Ksh.150 million
Nameless is one of the richest musicians in Kenya, born on 1st August 1976. He is an architect by profession who graduated from the University of Nairobi. He is married to another Kenyan musician, Wahu, with whom they have two daughters, Tumiso and Nyakio.
Nameless started his music career in the late 90s when Kenya’s music industry was still young. He was discovered in 1999 during a talent search programme by Capital FM. His first single, “Megarider,” became a hit back then and was frequently played on the radio stations. Nameless was among the first musicians to work for Ogopa Deejays. He released several hits, including Mannerless, Boomba Train, Ninanoki, and Sinzia, to name just a few.
5. Lady Wanja
Real name: Ejidiah Wanja
Net worth: Ksh.80 million
Lady Wanja is one of the richest musicians in Kenya today. She is a Benga musician who sings in Kikuyu language. She began her music career as a backup singer for Mbiri Young Stars, a music band that existed in the early 90s. She later quit the band and formed Queenja Les, releasing her first album, “Ndorogonye,” in 1991.
She released more albums in the years that followed. One of them was “Mwendwa KK,” which carried several songs like Muici Wa Itura, Ndutige Kwiyaba, and Arume Ni Nyamu. She has worked hard over the years, consistently making more hit songs, making a lot of money, and rising to become one of the richest musicians in Kenya.
Real name: Kevin Wairegi
Net worth: Ksh.50 million
Wyre, who is nicknamed “Wyre the Love Child,” is among the richest musicians in Kenya. He owns several businesses, including a record label called Lovechild Records. The talented Kenyan musician sings and performs reggae and R&B music. He and Nazizi formed the music duo, Necessary Noize, and released several hit songs like Kenyan Boy-Kenyan Girl and Bless My Room. Wyre has also worked with other international artists like Morgan Heritage, Alaine, and Cecil.
7. Size 8
Real name: Liinet Washiali
Net worth: Ksh.40 million
Size 8 is a Kenyan gospel musician who was born on 4th August 1987 in Maringo Estate, Nairobi. Before she started singing gospel music, size 8 began her career as a secular musician when Clemo, a music producer at Calif Records, discovered her and signed her to his record label. She dropped hits like “Shamba Boy,” “Fire,” “Silali,” and “Vidonge”.
Size 8 decided to quit the secular music world in 2013 and transitioned into a gospel musician immediately. She then released gospel hits such as “Mateke,” “Yuko na Wewe”, “Jemedari,” and “Afadhali Yesu”. She is now married to her long-time sweetheart, a DJ for gospel music, DJ. Mo.
Real name: Hubert Mbuku Nakitare
Net worth: Ksh.27 million
Nonini is one of the first Kenyan Hip-hop musicians to appear in the Kenyan music scene. His musical journey started in the early 2000s when he signed with Calif Records, releasing hits such as “Nonini ni Nani,” ”Manzi wa Nairobi,” and ”Weh Kamu.” He released his debut album, “Hanyaring Game,” in 2004.
Apart from being a musician, he is also an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and radio presenter. He owns “Pro Habo,” a video production company that gave rise to a music group called “P-Unit,” for which he was the founding member. Nonini is also in the fashion business.
Real name: Kelvin Kioko Bahati
Net worth: Ksh.19.3 million
Bahati is a 27-year-old award-winning Kenyan musician. He faced many challenges as a child, losing his mother when he was only seven, followed by being abandoned by his father. He had nowhere else to go, so he found himself at a children’s home in Kariobangi, Nairobi, before being taken in by his step-brother, the only family member he’s ever known.
Bahati came to the limelight when he released his first single called “Siku Ya Kwanza” in 2012. He has since released many other hit songs that have graced the Kenyan airwaves. Bahati is married to Diana Marua, an aspiring rapper, and they have one child.
10. Willy Paul
Real name: Wilson Abubakar Radido
Net worth: Ksh.18.2 million
Willy Paul is one of the richest Kenyan musicians. He was born on 1st September 1993, in Mathare Slums, Nairobi. Even though he now sings secular music, Willy Paul started his music career as a gospel musician, releasing his first song entitled, “Rabuka.” However, his breakthrough song was “Sitolia,” in which he collaborated with another gospel music singer, Gloria Muliro.
Willy Paul released his first album, “You Never Know,” in 2013. The album featured several hit songs such as Mpenzi,” “Kitanzi,” “Lala Salama,” and “You Never Know.” Willy paul is now one of the most Sought-after Kenyan musicians, making a lot of money through concerts and music sales.