Broke 'Dunia Mbaya' singer quits music to mine gold

BENGA songbird Lilian Auma, 45, alias Princess Jully. courtesy
BENGA songbird Lilian Auma, 45, alias Princess Jully. courtesy

BENGA songbird Lilian Auma, 45, alias Princess Jully, has resorted to prospecting for gold in Migori county after piracy drove her out of business.

Also known as Alily nyar Jogina, she serenaded the country in the 1990s, with hits including Dunia Mbaya.

“Most people get shocked when they find me in mines and can’t believe it is really me,” Jully told the press in Migori yesterday.

She said she moved from her Sh30,000-a-month rental house in South C, Nairobi, to her rural home in Bondo Nyironge, Suna West subcounty.

The artiste now lives in a mud house she built on her own and does not have to pay rent.

Jully travels for more than 50km to Komito goldmines in Rongo subcounty, a job that can only net Sh300 a day.

She said after the death of her singer husband Prince Jully in 1997, she moved to Nairobi to do business and produce music.

Jully said she prospered and even opened a distribution shop on Mfangano Street.

She produced Dunia Mbaya a year later, which propelled her music career at a time the country had declared HIV-Aids a national disaster.

“From my shop in Nairobi, I distributed my music across the country and to Tanzania. Business was booming,” Jully said.

The artiste said she still has the prowess to sing.

“I plan to record a song on terrorism attacks in the country and send a message to al Shabaab to end radicalisation,” Jully said.

Her musician son Makajully took to social media to show support.

“Mama wanted to make the world a better place. She invested in hundreds of people, paid school fees and housed orphans,” he said.

Makajully said he is proud of his mother, whose challenges she termed “a passing wind.”

“I am proud to be the son of such a great woman,”” he said.

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star