Kenyan divas

Published on

By Chiquitta

This Sunday is international Women’s Day, so Chiquitta would like to honour the women artistes who have managed to stay on point when it comes to their music careers. Like BeyoncÈ says, “A diva is a female version of a hustler” and these ladies have proved it. They have managed to stay on course in an industry that is rarely kind to struggling up and coming artistes especially women.

Nyota ndogo


The singer’s story is inspiring. Nyota Ndogo was once a humble househelp in Mombasa who dreamed of making it big. Her contribution to a Necessary Noize album back 2004 wowed listeners and soon enough fame came knocking.

Today, she is famed for her hit song Watu Na Viatu. Nyota is also one of the few Kenyan artistes who can hold her own with the Tanzanians when it comes to swahili laced R&B.; She has never let the negative affect her, instead she uses her music to hit out at those who try to bring her down. She is no longer a nyota ndogo as her name suggests but a big star.


Wahu is an all rounder. She has so far managed to make balancing motherhood and career look easy. With her math degree Wahu is no dunce either. Wahu was also the first Kenyan artiste to bring home an MTV Africa award. Her hit Sweet Love showed she wasn’t afraid of exploring diversity when it comes to music. Her down to earth persona continues to endear her to fans across Africa. Haters can hate all they like but Wahu isn’t checking out for them.



When Nazizi started out she was till a student in Makini School. Her subject matter reflected that: “Nataka kuwa famous kama Kalamashaka”. It wasn’t hard to empathise with the young girl with big dreams. Close to 10 years later, Nazizi is a household name and more. As Kenya’s first female rapper, Naz paved the way for the Rat-a-tat’s and Stella Mwangi’s of today. Naz may not be as lady-like as some would like her to be but her dedication both in musical and educational pursuits are really worth emulating.


Atemi Oyungu has been in the industry a long time. When she first hit the scene she was part of the group Intu with Natasha Gatabaki Njee. Then she was a slim size 10 and was then known as Carol Atemi. Today she is Atemi, a voluptuous lady with a soulful voice. Her performances at the Urban Legend shows at Carnivore have a faithful following. Her album Hatimaye and singles like Happy and Simama have also been well received and this may very well be the year of Atemi.


If you thought motherhood would get the better of Tattuu you were wrong. The group has managed to make a comeback with their song Solophobia. And although much rounder around the middle the ladies continue to show that chicks really can work together in harmony. Tattuu have avoided internal squabbles that mar all other girl groups and kept it real throughout despite their personal dramas.



Amani’s strongest point is her tenacity. She is the kind of chick who will still perform with a sprained ankle and stomach pains. It seems she ‘d rather smile now and cry later when it comes to her fans. She also seems to have a knack for dodging the career dooming scandals that befall her counterparts. We have seen Amani grow with the industry, a few years ago she was being dissed about her horrendous CHAT awards outfit but today her stunning dress sense has seen her become a fashion star in her own right.

Esther Wahome

Esther Wahome broke the barrier of “gospel is for church with her hit Kuna Dawa. And although she has never looked back, she has set the pace for other female gospel singers. With her eclectic but decent style sense, Wahome has also proven that gospel does not mean boring. From humble roots in Nyeri to the world stage, Wahome is hailed as one of Kenya’s biggest gospel stars.

|   |    |    Comments (0) |   Add Comment

Today’s magazine

    Woman’s Instinct
Tilting the status quo

Through the Kenya Women’s Shadow Parliament, Monica Amolo, Executive Director, has been building capacity for Parliament and local authorities’ leadership among rural women.