Nairobi News

ChillaxWhat's Hot

SNAPPY 7: Kidis – I once sold water for a living in Mombasa

Did you know that Tanzanian born Kenyan based singer Nesphory Simbiga, better known by his stage name Kidis, has been in the country for 20 years now?

It’s for this reason that Kidis of the Kamua Leo fame feels he should be considered more or less a Kenyan.

With a new track titled Chunaa set to be released soon, Kidis reflects on his musical journey with Nairobi News. Excerpts:

1. Who is Kidis – I was born in Tanzania but I moved to Mombasa in 1996. I now live in Nairobi. I moved to Kenya after I completed my primary school education since my parents couldn’t afford to pay for my high school education.

My stage-name Kidis came from an American movie called Three Ninja Kids from a time when I used to terrorise kids in school while mimicking the moves of the characters of the movie. So the name stuck.

Tanzanian born Kenyan based singer Nesphory Simbiga aka Kidis. PHOTO | FRANSIOR NDERITU
Tanzanian born Kenyan based singer Nesphory Simbiga aka Kidis. PHOTO | FRANSIOR NDERITU

2. How has your music journey been like – In the year 2000 when the Rainbow Coalition was being formed is when we started as a group of 17 artists in Mombasa. It was not easy because during those days it was hard for upcoming artist to even afford to buy a blank CD.

We used to go and beg DJs to play our songs at funeral services or at a wedding ceremonies even if it was for only 10 minutes. That’s how I started my music career.

Before I started singing, I used to pull a handcart while selling water for a shilling per jerrican. I even worked at some point for a construction company were I got paid Sh70 per day. But that is all in the past now.

3. How did your family take it after you started singing – I’m the last born in a family of eight children and we are very religious, so when they heard I wanted to sing they all encouraged me to go ahead.

But a few were not happy when I started plaiting my hair and told me to stop but my parents just kept encouraging me and now I’m Kidis.

4. Are you in a relationship – No, I’m not because if I was, the person I’m with would not understand me as an artiste for various reasons. For example, many female fans like to send me their nude photos out of nowhere; imagine if it is the middle of night and you are sleeping next to your wife or girlfriend, she will not understand, she will say you are cheating on her.

5. Can you cook – I always cook for myself. I love to cook all those coastal delicacies.

6. The most embarrassing moment – I think it is when you grab the microphone at a concert and then there is no sound. But sometimes I blame the engineers for it or when a DJ doesn’t follow the right order of the music you want to perform.

7. What would be your advice to any upcoming musician – Be unique and be yourself, don’t copy anyone, don’t try to be like Kidis, there will never be another Kidis. If a DJ or a radio presenter refuses to play your music, keep trying, someone will play your music.