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Revealed: Diamond earned Sh1.2 million a minute for Raila show

It was a good day to be Diamond Platnumz on Saturday when presidential aspirant Raila Odinga made his last submission to Kenyans to vote him as the next president ahead of Tuesday’s General Election.

Diamond, together with his ex-girlfriend Zari Hassan, were busy planning a luxurious birthday celebration for their daughter Princess Tiffah in South Africa, who turned six on August 6, when a call came in.

He was required to perform at Mr Odinga’s last campaign rally ahead of the elections the very same day.

Even though the Tanzanian hot minute performance at a fully packed Moi Stadium in Kasarani left a number of Kenyan artists unimpressed, particularly rapper Juliani, Diamond couldn’t care less.

The Waah! hitmaker, made most out of it without wiping much of a sweat off his brow.

Diamond made millions in perhaps one of the shortest ever performances of his life and was off the skies back to South Africa to celebrate his daughter before the trolls began.

Nation has since established that for his roughly 10-minute performance at the final Azimio rally where the singer endorsed Raila Odinga, he was paid $100,000 (Sh11.9 million).

Diamond’s performance at Azimio’s final campaign rally, was meant to be a surprise in a last attempt to woo many youthful voters as Mr Odinga makes his fifth stab to become the president of Kenya.

The singer wasn’t in the picture as preparations for the last rally geared up, until three weeks ago when he was contacted and the conversation began.

Negotiations, Nation understands, kicked off, and being a season of politics in the country with politicians splashing millions for campaigns, Diamond knew too well he would make good money. He did so while campaigning for the late Tanzania President John Maghufuli, a close ally to Mr Odinga.

As such he had to raise his rate card from the normal $70,000 (Ksh8.2 million) he charges for an hour show outside Tanzania. Negotiations dragged a little bit and a fee of $100,000 was agreed upon and contract signed.

Outgoing Mombasa’s Governor Ali Hassan Joho is said to have been very instrumental in the negotiations.

“Kindly this is off the record, but the conversation to have Diamond perform at Raila’s rally had been in the pipeline for three weeks. The performance was actually sponsored by a tycoon in Tanzania, I am not sure if the tycoon is a businessman or a politician but clearly it seems it’s someone well known to Azimio’s principals. However, what I’m sure of is that Diamond was paid $100,000 for the Kasarani performance,” a source privy to the plans disclosed to Nation.Africa.

On Thursday, the singer, who will be having a string of tours in Europe and Africa beginning August 20, shared on his Instagram feed that he would be performing in Kenya on Saturday.

He didn’t reveal much details, leaving enough room for speculation with many Kenyans on social media divided as to where he would be performing between Azimio’s and Kenya Kwanza rally which was held at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi the same day. Others wondered if he was going to perform at a private function.

It is, however not clear if the tycoon also footed the bill for the private jet used by Diamond into the country and back to South Africa.

As of July 2021, Diamond was charging $70,000 for a show outside Tanzania and $50,000 for shows within Bongo. The revelations were made by his manager and business associate Sallam SK during an interview with Wasafi TV.

Sallam also noted that other than the performance fees, event organizers also have to fly the singer on a private jet, and cover for meals and his accommodation in a 5 star hotel.

At Karasani, Diamond Platnumz gave an invigorating performance divided in two sets each before and after Raila’s speech.

He started by performing his 2019 ‘Baba Lao’ hit tweaking the lyrics a little in praise of Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua.

He also gave a short speech publicly endorsing Azimio’s frontman.

Diamond returned at the conclusion of Mr Odinga’s speech where he was joined on stage by other Azimio leaders and Mama Ida Odinga and again gave a little performance for a few minutes before leaving for his jet via a helicopter to South Africa.

An irked Juliani described the performance as “distasteful”, while comedian Eric Omondi used the situation again to brand Kenyan artistes lazy.