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February 20, 2018

I once sold women's panties for a living - Papa Dennis

Papa Dennis
Papa Dennis

Papa Dennis, one of the most celebrated and hardworking artistes in the country, is a true testament to how one one can start from nothing and end up being among the most sought-after musicians.

He's even considered among the richest musicians in Kenya, considering how much money he spends to release music and pay for collabos.

Speaking of collabos, the singer has worked with some of the biggest artistes in Africa, including Chidinma, Korede Bello, Tonzi and Christina Shusho.

In an interview with KISS FM's Adelle Onyango and Shaffie Weru, Papa Dennis explained how he goes about working with these big artistes.

He said, "Connection inapatikana kama mkona team, team ndio inafanya unakutana na wale wasee then tunafanya kazi pamoja. Kitu moja people should know is that bila team itakua ngumu kwako sana wewe kufikia management ya wale wasanii wakubwa, so management ndio inafanya nakutana na wale wasanii na kuwork pamoja."

His career has grown tremendously over the years, and one would think he comes from a rich family, but that's not the case. He has had his very own fair share of struggles. After his mother died, he had to drop out of school to hustle so that his twin brother could continue with his studies.

"My real name is Dennis Mwangi, from Matunda. Nimesomea pale, mashida zimenikumba nikiwa pale, nimehustle hadi Kisumu. Kisumu, nilikua nauza manguo, kichungi, blanketi, yaani mali kwa mali na pia nilikua nauza ladies' panties. Wakati nilijoin Class 8 ndio mama yangu alifiriki, so kuendelea na shule ilikua hard sana. So nikasema bro yangu hawezi kaa free or at home, lazima niende nihustle nimtafutie pesa aende amalize form 4. So nilihustle nikiwa mdogo, nikaingia kazi, nimeuza line za simu after hapo nikapatana na mzee anaitwa Mambo alafu akaniandika kazi. Kidogo kidogo, nikafungua biashara yangu ya kuuza panties za wanawake," he said.

Having gone through so much to make ends meet and to survive, did he ever think of quitting?

"Kuna time nakumbuka ilifika pahali nikafikiria sana, nikasema sijui niende wapi lakini kitu moja niliomba Mungu, nikamwambia Mungu nisaidie najua kila kitu kitawezekana kwako na hapo ndio nilifunga shughuli mingi nikasema kama ni marafiki wanaeza fanya niingie kwa mambo mabaya, wacha nicancel, I just work for my life to work. Na vile nilifunga hizo shughuli, nikajua God ananipenda na nina weza kuenda mbali nikiwork hard. Sasa nikasema I have to work hard and stop thinking about other things. In life, mara mingi marafiki ndio huwa wanapoteza watu, wanakueka kwa njia mbaya. Even when I became Papa Dennis, some of the people I called friends were misleading me, telling me to live my management. And I said I won't leave my management just because someone tells me to, I'd rather leave that friend."

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