• False promise left him living near Afya Centre as a street child for a 'very long time'
Tanzanian-Kenyan based singer Ten Ballz, alias Mr Shakara, says he was brought into the country by a fraudster who abandoned him.
Speaking to Word Is on Tuesday, he said, "My family couldn't afford to get me to college because I wanted to be a doctor. I met a Kenyan guy who told me there are opportunities here. I sold my land back home, came to Nairobi only to find out that he was a conman."
"I didn't have a place to stay, so I opted for the streets. I have lived near Afya Centre as a street kid for a very long time. Life was really bad, we used to call Nairobi 'Shamba La mawe' because it wasn't easy."
He says the major lesson he got from the street was to treat close people like brothers.
"A human will only laugh with you when you have money. If you don't, then you will have no friends," he said.
"A brother is the one you have chosen to be a brother. There is a time I called my brothers and I received no aid, I was helped by complete strangers."
Adidng, "I met an American who was my good Samaritan. He took me in and later put me in school at Alliance Française. My dream of becoming a doctor was already shattered. That's where I started singing again and met Njuguna, who linked me up with the management of Mombasa InterContinental."
Talking about his amusing name, he said, "I was a rapper, I did street cyphers and a friend of mine told me that I have the ability of ten heads. After that, I created this name Ten Ballz."
Ballz, real name Kiboma Kasambala, is currently making headlines with the song 'Inuka', the lead single to his eight-track EP.
"Yes, I have regrets, but my regrets make me work harder," he said.