Celebrities becoming politicians is not a new concept here in Kenya. Many celebrities who had thrown themselves in the political bandwagon found themselves in the cold after their popularity failed to equate to the votes at the ballot.
Most celebrities join the political arena hoping to translate their fan base into votes, but while some have been successful even winning a presidential race others have come to learn the world of politics is totally different from that of entertainment.
P-Unit’s Francis Amis (Frasha)
Frasha had secured a ticket to run for an MCA seat to represent Athi River Township. He, however, pulled out of the race at just before the polls.
Charles ‘Jaguar’ Kanyi
He is a recording artiste who went on to become the Member of Parliament for Starehe constituency in 2017.
He vied for and won the Starehe seat against another celebrity candidate activist Boniface Mwangi.
Ugandan pop star and opposition figure Bobi Wine said Monday he will challenge longtime President Yoweri Museveni in a 2021 election.
Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, built a large youth following through his criticism of Uganda’s long-time leader President Yoweri Museveni – who has been in power for 32 years – both in parliament and through his music. The rapper made international headlines after an arrest last year and alleged torture by Ugandan security forces in detention
In September 2019, Rapper Jackson Makini alias Prezzo has officially joined politics and will run for MP in Kibra constituency come 2022.
Prezzo, in a rather confused and disorganized press conference, was unveiled by Kalonzo Musyoka and other leaders as Wiper Party’s 2022 candidate while ODM and Jubilee parties awarded their candidates their nomination certificates ahead of the November 7 by-election.
De’Mathew’s contribution to the music industry for over 30 years has opened spaces, and one could credit him for the expansion of a vibrant entertainment environment along Thika Road. He equally berated corruption as the bane of the Kenyan leadership. Most of his songs allude to the suffering of coffee and tea farmers.
Joseph Haule (Professor J)
We all know this guy, the “Hapo Vipi hapo Sawa” hitmaker. Professor Jay is a pioneer of Tanzanian Hip-Hop whose music moved people. Having a successful career as a hip-hop artist, Tanzanians were convinced and gave them a chance to exploit in politics.
He urged people to shun wrong ways, advocated for good governance in some of his songs and when he ran for a parliamentary seat in Mikumi Constituency, his fans translated to votes.
Gospel artiste Alex Ringtone Apoko tried his hand in politics. He took part in a by-election in Kitutu Masaba coming a distant eight in 2011.
He has however shown signs of intending to try it again, this time here in Nairobi.