Top 10 Highest Paid Kenyan Musicians
Top 10 Highest Paid Kenyan Musicians

The music industry is considered one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world. In fact, African music is sometimes alluded to as the continent’s greatest export to the world. In regions like Kenya – East Africa, where tourism abounds, music plays an instrumental role in its economical growth. As such, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the highest paid Kenyan musicians are known beyond the shores of Africa.

This is because their music acts as a bridge between linking the African music industry and attracting potential investment from foreign countries. Considering these facts, the top 10 highest paid Kenyan musicians have accumulated a massive fortune and we have all the details about how they did it.

Who Are The Highest Paid Kenyan Musicians?

1. Sauti Sol

    • Full Names of Members:
    • Bien-Aimé Baraza (born December 28, 1987)
    • Willis Chimano (born July 9, 1987)
    • Polycarp Otieno (born November 14, 1987)
    • Savara Mudigi (born May 25, 1987)
    • Estimated Net Worth: $5.5 million
    • Genre: Afro-Pop

    This musical group was founded in Nairobi, Kenya as far back as 2005. It consists of vocalists Bien-Aimé Baraza, Willis Chimano, and Savara Mudigi, as well as guitarist Polycarp Otieno, who joined the formerly known acapella trio, and they came to be known as Sauti Sol.

    The Afro-Pop singers came into the limelight when they began a tour through Africa, Europe, and America in early 2010. By February 2011, when they released their sophomore album, Sol Filosofia, the group was already a big sensation, making waves around Africa and earning nominations in various continental and international award categories like the Kisima Music Awards, Channel O Music Video Awards, MTV Europe Music Awards, and BET Awards.

    The dynamic group has been consistent in their musical journey and their contribution to African music has seen their earnings rise from a staggering average of $21,800 in 2018 to a whopping $839,000 in 2020. This includes an estimated $79,000 which they charge per show. Indisputably, pitching them as the current highest paid musicians in Kenya.

    2. Bahati

    • Full Name: Kelvin Kioko Bahati 
    • Date of Birth: December 22, 1992
    • Music Genre: Gospel
    • Estimated Net Worth: $5 million

    One of the youngest artists in the country, Kevin Kioko Mbuvi Bahati who goes by just Bahati rose to stardom within a short time and at a fast pace. The young star is a gospel artist and grew up in Mathare Slums as an orphan in ABC Orphanage Home from the age of 7 when he lost his mum – who followed after the death of his father. Thus, growing up was not fun for the teenager who was sponsored by the less privileged home through school, and against all odds, he found his way to the top.

    The music star who is also a movie sensation and entrepreneur first came into the spotlight in the early 2010s when he received a standing ovation in the National Drama Music festivals. Subsequently, he has formed a record label, Emb Record to help elevate the status of up and coming acts in the country and several other investments that account to a gross of around $1-5 million dollars.

    3. Nonini

    • Full Name: Hubert Mbuku Nakitare
    • Date of Birth: October 2, 1982
    • Genres: ‎Genge‎; ‎Kenyan hip hop
    • Estimated Net Worth: $4.6 million (Ksh500 Million)

    Hubert Mbuku Nakitare, who goes by the stage name ‘Nonini’ is best known for his fusion of Kenyan hip-hop and his Genge sounds. The radio presenter and music star is recognized as one of the highest paid Kenyan musicians due to his overbearing relevance in the hip-hop culture in the country.

    The artist who was born in Nairobi in 1982 has graced the big stage and performed with many other Kenyan acts such as Jegede, P-Unit, Jua Cali amongst others who are considered the greatest in the game. Just like other popular artistes, Nonini earns much of his money from his live performances, album sales, and royalties.

    Also, Nonini launched a foundation, Colour Kwa Face Foundation to fight for the rights of people living with albinism. Although he is tagged as one of the most controversial artists in the country, his net worth is placed at an estimated Ksh500 million.

    4. Lady Wanja

    • Full Name: Ejidiah Wanja
    • Date of Birth: N/A
    • Genres: ‎Benga
    • Estimated Net Worth: $4.6 million (Ksh500 Million)
    Image Source

    Ejidiah Wanja, popularly known as Lady Wanja, is the daughter of Kenyan music legend, late Queen Jane. Unlike her mother, Lady Wanja delved into the gospel music industry, and ever since, she has been making waves, having over 140 song duets to her name, including huge VCD sales, music streams from Skiza Tunes, and live performances. All these endeavors have helped in accumulating her wealth.

    5. Size 8

    • Full Name: Linet Munyali
    • Date of Birth: 4 August 1987
    • Genres: ‎Gospel
    • Estimated Net Worth: $4.6 million (Ksh500 Million)

    Linet Masiro Muyanli, popularly known as Size 8, has over the years been active in the Kenyan entertainment industry where she majors as an actress, singer, and songwriter. Prior to 2013, Muyanli dished out secular songs that enjoyed massive airplay in the Eastern African region, until she announced and resigned herself to gospel songs, releasing her debut song titled “Mateke”.

    The Kenyan beauty is married to popular Disc Jockey, DJ MO, and the couple is blessed with a kid.

    6. Wyre

    • Full Name: Kevin Waire
    • Date of Birth: N/A
    • Genres: ‎R&B, Reggae
    • Estimated Net Worth: $3.6 million (Ksh400 Million)

    When it comes to R&B in Kenya, Wyre is the most recognizable face of that genre. The versatile artiste whose songs are a blend of reggae and R&B is also a judge at the popular dance show Sakata aired on Citizen TV and owns Love Child Records. Amongst all these activities, most of his wealth comes from his album sales, live performances, and royalties, which are grossly put around Ksh400 million.

    7. Akothee

    • Full Name: Esther Akoth
    • Date of Birth: 8 April 1980
    • Music Genre: Benga
    • Estimated Net Worth: $3.5 Million

    Esther Akoth rose to fame on a rough side, but this did not deter her from rising to the top as the most successful female musician in Kenya. At 14-years of age, she was forcefully married off to a school-going young man who later abandoned her. Today, the once dejected Akothee owns multiple luxurious mansions across the country, fleets of expensive cars, and owns several businesses, including a beach resort in Diani, a real estate company, an Sh80 million house in Rongo, and a tour company.

    The musician and businesswoman who is the founder of Akothee Safaris, Akothee Foundation, Aknotela, and Akothee Homes, has been in the Kenyan entertainment industry for over a decade and during this period, she is reported to have garnered an estimated net worth of Ksh600 million in Kenya’s local currency.

    8. Jaguar

    • Full Name: Charles Njagua Kanyi
    • Date of Birth: October 13, 1982
    • Music Genre: Kapuka
    • Other Interest: Real estate, Politics
    • Estimated Net Worth: $3.2 Million

    This is one artist who has been on the scene for quite a very long-time. Charles Njagua Kanyi, the musician who doubles as a Kenyan politician, has maintained a top spot among the elites of the Kenyan music industry from its inception. Jaguar, as he is fondly called, came into the spotlight in 2004, and today, he is currently the representative of Starehe Constituency in Parliament.

    The singer, just like his counterpart, Akothee, delved into entrepreneurship, expanding his ownership of properties and assets to the taxi firm, a security company, auto garage and real estate, and a costly Ksh20 million house in his backyard. Asides from the glaring fact that he owns a wide range of cars, Jaguar disclosed he earns close to Ksh1 million per performance and it is on this grounds that his net worth capitulates to a whooping Ksh 350 million.

    9. Willy Paul

    • Full Name: Wilson Abubakar Radido
    • Date of Birth: 1 September 1993
    • Genres: ‎Secular Music, Pop, Soul
    • Estimated Net Worth: $1.5 Million

    Born Wilson Abubakar Radido, Willy Paul falls into the category of gospel musicians that made it big in the Kenyan music industry. The winner of the Male Artist of the year in the 2013 Groove Awards has come a long way in Kenyan’s contemporary gospel music. The singer has covered a large space in winning the hearts of East African gospel song lovers, extending his reach beyond its shores to the US where he is recognized and has a large following too. By so doing, much of his accumulated wealth comes from his live performances in these venues he shutdown both locally and internationally. His net worth is set at the range of $1-3 million.

    10. Nameless

    • Full Name: David Mathenge
    • Date of Birth: 1 August 1976
    • Genres: ‎Pop
    • Estimated Net Worth: $923,442 (Ksh100 Million)

    David Mathenge who goes by the stage name, ‘Nameless’ is one of the highest paid Kenyan musicians right now. The talented singer and former on-air personality at Capital FM Kenya had enjoyed a huge amount of success in the music industry ever since he emerged in 1999.

    The artist has a career spanning over a decade in the country and together with his beautiful wife, Wahu they jointly owned a couple of businesses in the nation’s capital which is set to the tune of Ksh100 million.

    N.B Kenyan musicians make money mostly from Music Copyright Society of Kenya, endorsements, private business, YouTube, live shows, and sales of their music. A couple of them earn as high as Ksh2 million per month (USD18,000).

    Some of the high-earners include;

    Sauti Sol — Ksh4 million per month(Collectively)

    Akothee — Ksh3 million per month

    Bahati — Ksh900,000 per month

    Willy Paul — Ksh650,000 per month

    Nameless — Ksh600,000 per month

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