KEVIN BAHATI: From Orphan to Groove Award Winner

When Kevin Bahati, 19, recorded his first song, Siku ya Kwanza, a year ago, he felt as if his world had crumbled.

He had initially thought that the biggest job in music was writing and singing songs.

Little did he know that there were many other challenges ahead that needed to be faced wisely and with a lot of effort.

“I thought it was going to be easy for me to be declared a star after performing my song in several shows. Things were different. I had to continue working hard to get the song recorded and also get enough publicity. The challenges were enormous and almost broke me. However, I prayed hard for God to help me. Music was the only way out of the hard life I was living. So, it was do-or-die for me. Being an orphan without relatives I had to rely on it for my daily upkeep and it was a major challenge as I tried to excel in my career.”


Kevin was brought up at ABC, an orphanage in the Mathare slums, after he lost his parents.

He says he felt that instead of going to the streets to sniff glue, snatch handbags, and smoke bhang, he would rather go to a children’s home to get shelter and an education.

And that is exactly what he did when he was only seven years old.

The home sponsored him to study at Mercury Academy, where he sat for his KCPE exams.

He then joined Nakeel High School, Kajiado, but dropped out when his sponsor could no longer pay his fees.

“I nearly went to the streets, but I was offered a place at St Theresa’s Boys Eastleigh, where I continued with my secondary education until I completed in 2011 and managed to get a C+ grade. It was hard for me because I depended entirely on friends and good Samaritans,” Bahati says.

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