Here are a few celebrities who came from rags to riches and are proof that your dreams are valid no matter where you come from.
Size 8 and 5 other celebrities who came from poverty to riches
Their stories are classic cases of from grass to grace...
Octopizzo grew in up in the sprawling slums of Kibera and lost his parents at the tender age of 15, so as expected life was not easy for him and he had to grow up fast. Lucky for him he discovered his talent in music which got him and his family out of Kibera. But he hasn’t forgotten his roots and each of his songs has the name Kibera mentioned at least once.
He has also established the Octopizzo Foundation, which seeks to help young people in slums through art, music and sports. Because in his own words “Under these iron sheets, there’s babies, presidents, the next Octopizzo, everybody’s in here. Only if they meet the right person in their life. If they make the right choices.”
2. Johnson Mwakazi
Just like Octopizzo, the man now known as the ‘Golden Voice’ grew up in Kibera and was raised by his mum after his alcoholic dad took off after losing his job.
“We lived in a mud house in Kibera, where we had to buy water once a week. This meant I took a bath once a week. When it came to washrooms, we had to help ourselves inside the house and probably in the morning try to sort it out.” He narrated to africanexponent.com.
To survive he had to do manual labour like cart pushing, getting water for sale, working in construction sites before moving to town to sell hot-pots. Though he was not pushed to crime, he picked up the habit of masturbation and watching pornography which he got addicted to before getting saved.
He currently does voice overs for Citizen TV, owns a Public Relations company called Royal Voice.
3. Size 8
The ‘mateke’ singer enjoys a posh life in the Edenville suburbs of Kiambu. But life was not as rosy for her growing up as they were poor to the extent that they didn't have food and had to steal a chicken from her neighbours to eat.
Things did not get any better for her as she was grew older seeing that they could not even afford sanitary towels when she hit her teenage years.
“I used to hustle for sanitary towels. Actually, Citizen TV’s Jacque Maribe used to help me with pads back in secondary school.” She said during an interview with Citizen.
She then joined the posh Hillcrest school on scholarship where the staggering gap between the rich and poor intimidated her.
“When I got a scholarship to attend Hillcrest, I have to admit, I suffered a culture shock of my life! I was flabbergasted – students came from very affluent families!” She said before adding“Wanafunzi walikuwa wanaletwa mpaka na chopper na saa hizo mimi ni mtoto wa Maringo… Then they spoke in deep English accents, you can just imagine!”.
No one knew about Jaguar’s humble background till he spoke about it recently. He revealed that he was so poor that he couldn’t afford shoes when he was leaving his rural home for the city.
But his comeback to the village was a grand one as he not only came back with a Range Rover but had a stunning house in the village too.
“Left my rural home 13 yrs ago with no shoes….God’s work#The return, thanks to Milkways General Contractors Ltd.” He captioned the photo above.
5. Larry Asego
Despite his very posh uptown accent and his mastery of the French language, Larry grew up in the slums of Kibera. His family was large as his dad had two wives and 11 children.
But when speaking about Kibera, Larry said that he enjoyed life in the slum and doesn't have any sad stories to tell about it.
“Life in Kibera was (and I still believe is) fun. Actually, I think it is the best neighbourhood in the city. Every community in Kenya is represented in Kibera. ” He told SDE
6. Shaffie Weru
He doesn't talk much about where he grew up, but he revealed that his life was not always rosy as he grew up in Kibera.
He shared this picture remembering his time in Kibera:
be4 #fastcars #clubbing #theraverend &#turnupking this is where it all begun#kibera….spent Sunday afternoon with my1stcousins…#nimetokambali thank you sirjah4always blessing myhustle”
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