Most celebrities’ careers are usually tied to a rags-to-riches story, and for Genge star Mejja, it’s not any different.
The rapper who in 2020 was clearly one of the most featured artists, has had it rough before becoming a big-time name in the music industry.
In a recent interview, Mejja reminisced how performing at a roadshow in his home town Nyeri changed his life forever, but that is after living in abject poverty first following his grandmother’s death and then his mum falling sick.
“In primary school, we had a good life as my grandmother was well off,” said Mejja.
“Soon after she died it was made known to us that my mother was not her biological daughter. So the family was against my mother inheriting any property. To make matters worse, my mother was having constant headaches and we didn’t know she had a tumor as we had no money to visit a specialist.”
To make ends meet, Mejja was forced to do odd jobs. Selling Miraa, groundnuts and even cleaning toilets for food.
But while at it, a fire was stirring up. A fire that would one day make him one of the most listened to artists in Kenya.
“I did many odd jobs including selling groundnuts,” he said.
“Touched by my plight, an empathetic man gave me a job cleaning his hotel in exchange for lunch. My interest in music started after watching my elder brother rapping. I started imitating his flow and realized that my peers liked it and the girls were smitten. I started writing music – at the time, I had a job selling mogoka at night.”
Mejja went on to say that his path to launching his music career led him to Calif Record’s founder Clement Rapudo a.k.a Clemmo who accelerated everything, turning him into an overnight star in the process.
“Clemmo is one of the people who connected me to my dreams,” Mejja said.
“I had just left the mosque on a Friday after prayers when I met a friend outside the mosque. He told me a Celtel (now Airtel) truck was in town and they were looking for artists. I went, performed and came in second.”
“I then came to Nairobi to perform at Uhuru gardens and that’s when Clemmo noticed me. He took my number and said he wanted to record the song I had just performed (jana kuliendaje). After six months, Clemmo called me and welcomed me to his home.”