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Jua Cali: Music earned me my first million in 2007

Hip Hop legend Jua Cali says he has been minting millions of shillings from endorsement deals over the years; however, his sweetest paycheck was Sh3,000 paid to him back in the early 2000s.

“For the 20 years I have been doing music, I have made so much money from shows, but the one that stands out is my first ever show to be paid. I was paid Sh3,000. That is what made the biggest change in my career and life because I realized if I could make three thousand from music, then I could make 10 million from the same music,” Jua Cali reveals.

Over the years, with his career flourishing, brands started approaching him for influencing gigs and the millions he once envisioned became a reality.

“The late Lorna Irungu (media personality) connected me to my first endorsement deal. Motorola had introduced a new device targeting the middle class for the masses and wanted a celebrity who resonated with the masses and my name was fronted. I was paid 10,000 US dollars (Sh1.3 million in current exchange rate) at the time.”

Also read: Nameless, Jua Cali lead tributes for fallen K-Rupt bro

The 2007 deal made Jua Cali the first ever Kenyan artiste to clinch an endorsement deal with a brand.

For the one year of the deal, Jua Cali, the hottest property regarding music trend, became the face of the Motorola W model.

“The Motorola endorsement deal opened the flood gates to more endorsement from the likes of Safaricom, East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) you name it,”

The deal also saw Jua Cali travel to South Africa for the first time, for a photoshoot to promote the gadget.

Throughout his career, Jua Cali has become a major advocate for artists’ rights and fair pay. He has spoken out about the importance of artists getting their dues for their creative work, and it’s clear that he has taken his own advice.

Jua Cali’s success story is an inspiration to many aspiring artists out there.

Also read: Rapper Jua Cali explains why he drifted apart with Nonini