Growing up in Africa’s largest slum, Kibera has not prevented some people from rising their stars. Life in Kibera is characterized by abject poverty and crime. Amidst the poverty and crime life, Kibera has produced some of the finest rap artists, politicians, actors, and other great minds. Some of these celebrities were raised by single parents but still, the have all given Kibera the fame it prides in.
Kennedy, was born in a small village in Kenya, and lived there until it was struck by famine when he was just two years old. His mother moved the family to the capital city, Nairobi, to seek better living conditions. But, encountering a lack of jobs and housing in Nairobi, they ended up in the slum.
Kennedy Odede is now an internationally recognized social entrepreneur, a New York Times best selling author and cofounder and CEO of Shining Hope for Communities, a non-profit organization based in Nairobi, Kenya and New York, NY that combats urban poverty and gender inequity in the slums of Nairobi. Kennedy is one of Africa’s best- known community organizers and social entrepreneurs.
Among SHOFCO’s accomplishments are setting up and running a free school for girls in the slum, making clean water and medical care accessible, and helping dozens of individuals start small businesses.
Henry Ohanga “Octopizzo
Octopizzo is a successful rap artist born in Kibera. Amidst poverty, Octopizzo was orphaned at 14 years which separated him from his kins. Among the challenges that Octopizzo had to overcome in his art career was the negative perception of rap music. Octopizzo has risen to become one of the most influential artists in Kenya and beyond.
Eunice Mammito, comedian
The stand-up comedian at Churchill Show was raised by a single mother in abject poverty. In an interview with The Guardian Mamito once said that getting a meal in her childhood was alot of struggle. Now at 25, Mammito makes a dime from her stand-up comedy skill.
Christone Odhiambo (Kriss Darlin)
The Disc Joker made a political debut by declaring his candidacy for Kibera Parliamentary seat following the death of Ken Okoth. Kriss star rose at NTV where he was a reggae DJ. Even though NTV fired him following his political interests, Kriss is still a big name in the entertainment industry. Kriss grew up in Kibera and even despite having a high income to afford a decent life, he still lives there. Kriss is the founder of the Dohty Family.
Abel Mutua is a celebrated Kenyan actor who also directed and scripted popular Tv shows such as Tahidi High and the Real House helps of Kawangware. On several occasions, Abel has admitted his childhood challenges growing up at Kibera. Some of Mutua’s family members still live in Kibera.
Shaffie Weru is a household name among many radion fans from urban centers. July 2019, Shaffie joined Homeboyz Radio from Kiss FM. Shaffie’s radio career spans for over 15 years which make him among the most successful radio presenters in Kenya.
The communication Officer at the French Embassy in Kenya grew up in Kibera, Before his current Job, Asego was a radio presenter with a career spanning for over 10 years. Larry has worked for Kiss 100 and Classic 105 Radios. On several occasions, Larry could give his account of living in Kibera.
Johnson Mwakazi is the founder of Royal Voices, a media company. Mwakazi is a successful TV journalist who has worked for top Tv stations in Kenya. Mwakazi’s deep voice and strong work ethics thrust him into a successful journalist and media entrepreneur. Apart from voicing commercials, Mwakazi is also an event’s host who has moderated debates at national and global level
One of the city’s most popular music record and talent management labels, Grandpa Records, is located in the heart of Kibra. It is credited with releasing some of the country’s urban pop hits with artistes including Sauti Sol, Wyre, DNA, Kenrazy, Mr Lenny, Pizo Dizo, Dufla Diligon, Gin Ideal, Kidis and Visita.
The music stable’s founder and CEO Yusuf Noah aka Refigah has never shied from being a son of Kibra, the largest urban slum in Africa
“I started out as a rapper with a group called Nubians With Attitude (in the early 2000s) at the time when rap culture was becoming a major phenomenon. The lessons I learnt growing up in Kibra and also in the music industry are partly what make Grandpa Records the household brand it is today,” Refigah told PD’s Spice.