Celeb chat with legendary Kenyan musician Nameless
“Umeinspire hizi zote lyrics, Si unajua Nameless mtu wa classics. Utainspire ata hiyo remix, wachana na wao wanaleta critics. Baby girl, baby, baby girl ah. Be my first lady, I will be your Obama. You make me feel like the king of the jungle, cause you’re the lioness in my savannah,” crooned Nameless as I prepared to engage him in a rapid fire celeb chat.
See, talking to Nameless isn’t merely a casual roadside chat, it’s a conversation that demands preparation. It’s about crafting thoughtful questions that draw inspiration from both his life’s journey and music. And that’s precisely what Nairobi News did, setting the stage for an enlightening exchange where the conversation was littered with bubbly laughter and precious nuggets of wisdom. Considered an absolutely enriching dialogue, we hope that you, dear reader, find this conversation as stirring as we did.
NN: What is your secret to finding joy in everyday moments?
Nameless: Gratitude. I think every time you turn everything to thanking God for being alive and being able to do something- even a challenge and find purpose in it- I feel that you can find joy in that. We sometimes forget we are alive and could be dead or not existing. Every time when I’m going through stress, I remind myself that I’m alive, I can feel something and somehow, I pull joy out of that. I try to look at what I have that people don’t have- health, life- that is my secret for trying to live a joyous life. Everything feels better after that.
NN: If you could ask God, or a higher power, one question, what would it be?
Nameless: Why is the world so unfair? Everything is unfair and that’s why I think sometimes things make sense and they don’t like some people being born in a lot of strife and pain. I don’t think humanity has gotten the answer to that yet. Also, why would You burn people for eternity? (he quipped as he broke into laughter) You burn someone for eternity because of just a few mistakes here on earth? It’s better to just correct them than burn them for eternity.
NN: What is the most hilarious thing a fan has ever said to you?
Nameless: There was a time a young lady wanted my autograph when we met a long time ago. I told her to give me a pen or a paper so I can write something for her. She couldn’t get anything. She was under pressure because it was late after a show so she just came to me and told me to just tell her verbally. I asked her how I can speak an autograph to her but in her frustration, she told me to just tell her something nice that she will remember. So I told her ‘thanks for the love’ and she became so happy and left. I found that funny- her insisting I tell her just anything.
NN: First thing you would do if you won Sh 10 million in a lottery?
Nameless: Honestly, I’d buy an apartment for Sh 8 million as an investment, Sh 1 million I’d put in my girls’ trust fund, Sh 500,000 I’d spoil myself with it- go on vacation, buy all sorts of things and Sh 500,000 I’d donate to organizations I feel are helping people.
NN: What is the most daring fashion experiment you have ever tried?
Nameless: I shaved my head bald. I thought I’d look like Michael Jordan. I didn’t quite look like him 100%. I’ve never looked back again (as he burst out in hearty laughter).
NN: What is the weirdest thing in your closet right now?
Nameless: A padded mountain bike seat. It just looks weird sometimes. You sit on it so you don’t feel pain while riding the bike (he explained as he burst out into more laughter).
NN: What’s one piece of wisdom you hope to pass down to your children?
Nameless: Growth mindset. I believe if you have a growth mindset- meaning your mindset is all about trying to do and be better, realize your blind spots and try to be better- if you have that kind of a personality, you will always be improving. So I don’t want them to be defensive, I want them to live with the mindset of ‘how can I be better, what could I have done better here, why have I done something here?’ I feel that if you have that attitude and you look for people who have the same attitude- whether it’s a fellow kid, spouse or partner, you will just be consistently improving your life. I try to instill this in my kids and tell them, ‘that’s what you should be proud of” because every day they are looking for where they are not doing well as opposed to what they are doing well.
NN: How would you like to be remembered by future generations?
Nameless: I think for me, I feel like more than a musician, I am a philosopher. I like to look at life and question it in terms of how we should live better. So I question everything. Don’t just do things because you’ve been told to do it. How you can do better and be better to others. So in whatever I do, even in my music, that’s what I want to be remembered for. That person who wanted guys to think and be that way. I realize that’s who I am in my heart. In everything, instead of judging someone or something, I wonder how it can be done better and how you improve yourself. When I look at that, that personality is more of a person who questions everything and sees how things can be better. This is the kind of thing I want to be remembered for. Everyone who knows me sees me like this and this is what I want to share with everyone.