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9 successful celebrities you didn't know were raised by single mums

From Jeff Koinange to Mike Mondo, here are 9 successful celebrities raised by single mothers

From left: Rashid Abdalla, Jeff Koinange & Mike Mondo

Many celebrities enjoy lives of luxury, but not all were born into such privileged circumstances. Behind the glitz and glamour, many stars faced challenging upbringings that may come as a surprise to their fans.

Raised by single parents, these celebrities encountered various hardships in their childhoods. Some experienced parental divorce, while others lost their parents at a young age. In some cases, parents abandoned their families, leaving the stars to navigate life without the presence of one or both parents.

Here are some celebrities you may not have known, were raised by single mothers.


Renowned Classic 105 presenter Maina Kageni stands as one of Kenya's most sought-after and highest-paid radio hosts.

The youngest of three siblings, Maina Kageni was raised by a single mother following the tragic passing of his father during his early childhood.

Citizen TV news anchor Jeff Koinange was raised by a single mother following the passing of his father when he was just two years old.


Reflecting on his father's death in a previous interview, Jeff expressed his sentiments, stating, "I don’t regret anything. I’m glad he wasn’t there in a way."

He further explained that having his father around might have led to them becoming spoiled brats as children, and he's grateful they didn't end up that way.

Despite his success, Embakasi East MP and former University of Nairobi student leader, Paul Ongili aka Babu Owino was raised by a single parent, his mother.


Babu has always expressed gratitude to his mother, who single-handedly raised him and his siblings in Kisumu’s slum, Nyalenda.

Their survival and education depended solely on her income from selling illicit brews.

Classic 105 radio presenter Mike Mondo disclosed that he was raised by four mothers following his father's demise when he was just 13 years old.


Mondo praised his mother as a resilient woman who single-handedly raised four boys after the loss of their father.

He recounted the challenges his mother faced, noting that she had to re-enter the job market to support her family and ensure that all her children received an education up to university level.

In a previous birthday tribute to himself, Rashid shared a throwback photo featuring him and his mother.


He expressed gratitude to her for single-handedly raising him following the passing of his father years ago.

"Thank you, my mother, for everything. I understand it hasn't been easy for you to care for me alone after Dad's passing, but you did your best," Rashid wrote.

James Mwangi, the CEO of Equity Bank, hails from Kangema, Murang'a County, where he was born and raised.


During Kenya's struggle for independence, his father tragically fell victim. It was James's mother, Grace Wairimu Mwangi (now deceased), who tirelessly raised him and all his siblings single-handedly.

Rue Baby, a model and the second child among singer Akothee's five children, hails her mother as the epitome of strength in single motherhood.

Rue has always emphasised that her mother, Akothee, has bravely confronted numerous challenges to secure a respectable life for her children.


Diamond Platnumz is celebrated not only in Tanzania but across Africa.

Born to Sandra Dangote, Diamond has established himself as both an artist and a businessman, despite being raised by a single mother.

He has collaborated with international artists such as Neyo, Morgan Heritage, and Omarion.


Before he assumed residence in the White House, Barack Obama grew up in a single-parent household.

Born to Ann Dunham from Kansas and Barack Obama Senior from Kenya, his parents first met during a Russian language class in the 1960s while his father was an exchange student.

Their marriage occurred six months before their son's birth. However, Obama's parents eventually divorced, and his father returned to Kenya.


Raised by his single mom in Hawaii, the former president's father visited them only once during Christmas in 1971, when Barack was 10 years old.


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