Heart Breaking truth about Meru Artists

Glitz, glam, money and fame are the glamorous pictures created in our minds whenever we think about artists. It’s no wonder why so many kids grow up wanting to be artists. The career has many things they want, but what they don’t see is what happens behind the scenes.

To get a clear picture of the hidden shocking facts about artists the County Focus Newspaper exclusively interviewed various renowned Meru entertainers.

In Meru, the art industry is peaking to an extent that the artists have started pulling up their socks in a bid to shine nationally and internationally.

The old myths and phrases discouraging our artists such as “Ameru can’t sing” are now fading out with the likes of sprouted Meru famous artists such as Karimi yule Mmeru, kamanu M’tuamwari, Jasper Murume, MC laingo, Vinnie Baite, Surf Msanii, Muthengi Ndagara, Karimi Bruno, Bredan Koffee Machette , Single L Star , Emma Kaim, Producer YT, Ramare King, Dayo Kim , Natty Mwalimu, Nassizu Murume, Jaysoul among many others. The Meru-based artists have kept our star shining nationally and worldwide.

Nevertheless, the Meru artists have been in limelight in several instances lamenting over unequal treatment as compared to their counterparts from other Counties and Countries during various events.

In the recent past, Meru came into the limelight after hosting Ruger, a musician from Nigeria who was rumoured to pocket Sh 3Million after performing in less than five minutes. The event left Meru artists’ tongues wagging with anger, with some claiming that the organizers of the event failed to recognize their hustle and were left to only benchmark in their home County at the expense of the visiting musician.

This is not the first time the Meru Musicians have lamented as they were nowhere to be seen during former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Meeting at Sagana State Lodge a year ago. The Musicians who expected to get an invitation to perform in the event were left out with no reason stated. Sources who attended the meeting claimed that Kikuyu musicians performed at the event instead.

To clear the air, The County Focus interviewed various Meru musicians on their sad realities and they had the following to say:

Hakim Hussein(Nyange/Kamlesh)

Hakim Hussein, a Meru-based veteran actor recalls how his children almost dropped out of school due to lack of fees and how he would be regularly kicked out of his rented house for the delay to pay rent.

Kamlesh is a veteran actor who has been in the game since 1995. He is well-known for sharing the same podium with famous actors such as Mzee Ojwang and Dagoretti South MP and Comedian-turned-politician John Kiarie. Kamlesh also featured in famous Kenyan TV series such as Mshamba in KTN, Inspekta Mwala in Citizen TV, Sellina and Pete in Maisha Magic, Witho in Weru TV.

Kamlesh is also featured in the trending Weru TV drama program dubbed as Chibo Nkobotia where he holds the stage name ‘Nyange’.

He is also the founder of the famous Meru talent show known as miss ghetto which later trended to become a competition among 37 ghettos in Kenya, earning him the title of Kenyan ghetto president.

Despite the glamorous titles, Kamlesh recalls how he would struggle to feed his family and also raise transport to Mombasa to join his acting crew.

“I recall being featured in a short film “taaruki kisiwani” in Mombasa but could not afford transport.” Kamlesh gloomily notes.

Kamlesh mentions the lack of support by the County Government and Media stations as the cause of the crippling of the art industry in Meru.

“Despite having better script writers, film directors, producers and actors the film industry seems to be dead. We lack a place to broadcast our work. Our County Government should have strategies to raise the art industry. They should fund artists to do documentaries and other films that can raise tourism and market the County,” Kamlesh adds.

He cites lack of quality filming equipment as another challenge that the art industry faces in the County.

According to Kamlesh, established Meru-based artists should join hands to support and elevate the art industry in the region.


Bee boyz is a group of three Meru-Based drill genre artists. The three who are Meru National Polytechnic First Year Students shone into the limelight after performing at Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza’s campaign events.

Regardless of this, Bee Boyz say that they have to do odd jobs during their free hours to raise funds for their music production.

“We face challenges of funds to shoot a quality music video, shooting ranges to about Sh 50,000. We always have to hustle when we are not in school to raise funds for our production. We urge the parents to support their children’s talents,” Jose Changlee, a member of Bee Boyz says.

Changlee, says that due to the genre of the music they dress shabbily, however, adds that some people judge them negatively and others bully them.

Among many of the famous songs by the crew is their latest hit ‘umoroto’ and ‘hizi ni gani’.

ESQ (Siki)

Martin Siki Wendo, well known by his stage name ‘Siki’ is a musician and a video/music director at Megascope Studios. Siki is also a reporter at Getu FM.

According to Siki, the biggest challenge for artists is financial stability. Siki says Meru has a lot of artists who are very talented but have no funds to record their music.

The renowned artist states that the Meru-based local Radio and TV stations play a small percentage of Meru music as compared to genres from other communities, a situation that he feels has dwindled the Meru art industry.

Siki also blamed Meru residents for preferring and requesting media stations to play music from other communities at the expense of the songs done by Meru artists.

Additionally, Siki rebuked deejays who prefer playing music sung by their rivals from other communities rather than giving Meru music more playtime.

The artist also criticized the Meru performers over wrangles and misunderstanding amongst themselves arguing that lack of unity has been crippling their art industry.

“We are people of the same community and we should not label ourselves as per our subtribes. Meru artists need to re-unite,” Siki adds.

Siki blasts Meru artists arguing that some prefer imitating musicians from other Counties and Countries ignoring their culture which he says has a wide variety of opportunities.

“If we would have many artists performing using our language and culture I believe I am sure we will conquer the industry as the Kikuyus and Akamba,” Siki notes.

Additionally, he lambasts the County government of Meru for neglecting and failing to hold public participation before making decisions pertaining to artists.

“The County government is planning to launch a studio at Kinoru where musicians from Meru can record music at no cost. That is not a bad idea but where will more than 15 music recording studios within Meru go? Who will feed the families of the producers and directors who will be forced to shut down their businesses due to this plan?” Siki queried adding that the County Government should find an amicable solution that will favor all the parties involved.


Mc Barack Itilafu, a spoken word artist says the lack of many musicians doing the spoken word genre has made the art lack competition citing this as the cause of the slow growth of music in Meru County.

Itilafu is famous for his spoken word hits mukiomo and chronicles of life.

According to Itilafu, most artists rely on YouTube among other platforms as a means of showcasing their talents due to the lack of a better platform.

“We only showcased our talents during the MYS Stars Project, an event that was organized by the former county government, since then we have never had any other opportunity,” he said

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