Nairobi News

ChillaxGeneralHustleMust ReadNewsWhat's Hot

Size 8: I was a cleaner earning 6K when I released my first hit

By Rajab Zawadi December 28th, 2023 2 min read

Renowned singer turned preacher, Size 8, has attributed her enduring kindness in an often harsh society to the poverty she experienced in her earlier life.

“Most people only get to know about celebrities when their lives have improved. Truth is, most celebrities have a story. When I began my music journey, I didn’t have fare to get to the studio or money to record, so I asked (legendary producer) Clemmo to give me a job at the studio that would compensate my needs for music. When I released my first hit (‘Shamba Boy’), I was a cleaner at Calif Records, and Clemmo used to pay me Sh6,000 a month,” narrates Size 8.

Hailing from the Kariobangi and Maringo slums, Size 8 highlights that her parents were devoutly religious but faced financial challenges. The family lived in a Sh7,000 monthly rental house, a cost shared among her siblings with the Sh6,000 she earned from Calif Records.

“We were extremely poor, and the reason I have always loved to help is because you might not know the background of someone. I remember when I started having my menstrual cycle, I couldn’t afford the pads. Food was also an issue. I remember one day my siblings and I stole a neighbour’s chicken and made ourselves a meal because we couldn’t afford meals.”

Despite grappling with poverty, Size 8 managed to attend the prestigious Hillcrest International School for her high school education on full sponsorship. Subsequently, she secured a slot at a university in the United Kingdom on partial sponsorship.

“My father couldn’t raise the other half of the money needed, so I lost the chance. I was so hurt, and that is when I decided I will go look for money. Tusker Project Fame was auditioning, and I participated, but I didn’t make the cut because I was 20 years of age, and the cut-off was 21. But that’s where I met Clemmo, who was one of the judges, and he took me into Calif. For me, I didn’t get into music to become famous, like I see most of these new-generation artists trying to do. For me, I got into music to make money and run away from poverty,” Size 8 revealed.

Having found renewed purpose, Size 8 has significantly reduced her focus on music, dedicating much of her time to preaching the gospel and giving back to society.