In Summary

  • The inspiring Journey of Female Musicians Breaking Barriers.
  • On International Women’s Day, we turn our spotlight toward the new girls on the block.
  • We honor their voices that echo the empowerment, creativity, and unwavering determination.

On International Women’s Day, we turn the spotlight on the new girls on the block; Ssaru, Maandy, Nikita and Ngesh (Kaveve Kazoze). Who rocks?

They all have graced the stage with unparalleled talent and resilience. They have broken the glass ceiling with melodies that resonate locally and internationally. Indeed, they have conquered the notes and shattered stereotypes.

We honor their voices that echo empowerment, creativity, and unwavering determination.

READ Also: The Big Five: Powerful Women Influencers in Kenya

Ssaru

Ssaru on stage. Photo Courtesy

Ssaru whose official name is Sylvia Saru is a Kenyan female Gengetone artist born on 19th May 2002. The young superstar was raised in the Kayole, Nairobi County.

Hailing from Mbolo area of Taita Taveta county in Kenya, the talented beauty known by her fans as  Ssaru wa Manyaru has risen to be the iconic face of women in Gengetone earning herself the ‘Queen of Gengetone’ title.

At just 19 years old, the Kenyan-born rapper and singer-songwriter was the youngest artist to join Spotify’s EQUAL Music Program, an acknowledgement of her resilience and success in a mostly male-dominated genre.

EQUAL is Spotify’s global initiative to cultivate gender equality in music and support female artists and podcast creators both locally and internationally.

At 21, Ssaru is still soaring high with her signature freestyle rap format.

Her most recent piece of work featuring Joefes dubbed ‘Girl Power’ showcases her poetic genius while addressing the Femicide menace in the country.

Late last month, Apple Music announced that Ssaru is its new Up Next artist to be featured in its development program in East Africa.

Nikita

Nikita Kering. Photo Courtesy

Nikita whose official name is Nikita Chepchumba Kering’ is a Kenyan musician and actress whose career took of at the tender age of 10.

In 2012, during an album launch by celebrated Gospel artist, Emmy Kosgey, she sang to a huge audience, and was critically acclaimed for her performance.

Afterwards, she signed a record deal with EmPawa Africa and was selected to undergo an international training and mentoring program.

Nikita became a finalist during the contest but was deemed too young to compete at the highest stage; nonetheless it brought her to the limelight.

After the success of her song, Ex, she was unveiled as Kenya’s artist for Coke Studio 2023 alongside high-flying rapper Khaligraph Jones. The two talented artists were unveiled at the launch event in Kilimani, Nairobi whereby Coke Studio announced the return of the new and exciting season.

In August 2023, a month later after being unveiled by Coke Studio, Nikita and Khaligraph officially released their collision Ex Remix, their first joint project under Coke Studio.

The beauty’s most recent project dubbed Let You Down featuring Kemena dropped a month ago and is currently enjoying a viewing of over 640K on YouTube.

Maandy

Maandy Kabya. Photo Courtesy

Amanda Wambui popularly known as Maandy a.k.a Kabaya is a Kenyan musician who doubles up as a rapper, performing artist, and songwriter.

She only began her professional musical career in 2016, churning out bold and high-quality music while steadily growing her fanbase-and now she is a household name in Kenyan music.

Maandy is a versatile multi-genre musician whose debut albums “Frisky” and “Kabaya ” slip between rapid-fire Trap, Hip-Hop grit, and bouncy Dancehall styles.

In May 2023, the beauty featured on New York Times Square billboard in the United States courtesy of Spotify. The global streaming platform had announced Maandy as its EQUAL Africa ambassador of the month of May.

Her versatility is quite evident since she has also hopped on the new wave Arbantone, with banging hits such as Bubbly Bubbly and Lele Remix doing quite well.

Maandy Kabaya’s recent milestones in her career include bagging a YouTube silver button for hitting 100,000 subscribers on her channel, as she was honored by the plaque late last month.

Also getting into March in style, the vibrant rapper was unveiled as the new brand ambassador for Kenya Breweries Limited’s (KBL) mainstream spirits brand, Chrome.The announcement of the partnership was made during a Chrome event that took place in Chuka town.

Ngesh (Kaveve Kazoze)

Ngesh on the streets of Nairobi. Photo Courtesy

Ngesh also known as Kaveve Kazoze is a Kenyan female rapper who rose to fame in 2023.

She rose to fame due to her lyrics on the song “Rieng Genje” by her musical crew Spider Clan.

The lyrics are unique, and many people loved her rapping skills making Ngesh a household name overnight.

One of her favorites lyrics is “Cash crop za Nyandarua ni mawaru”.

Ngesh real name Mary Wangeci Wamithi (born in 2001) also known as Kaveve Kazoze is a Kenyan rapper, entertainer, artist, and member of Spider Clan a musical group based in Naivasha.

She is the founder of the Spider Clan together with his brother, known as Mwasray.

Together, they formed the group in 2023 and have released two songs as a group. Ngesh has become popular after going viral on TikTok.

Ngesh officially started her musical career in 2022, releasing her first solo project, “Dem Dem”.

She finished high school in March 2021 and enrolled in a short course in 2022.

In January 2023, she teamed up with her brother Mwasray to form the Spider Clan. They were joined by two other friends, Banguz and Mguz. The Spider Clan now has four members, and together they have released songs such as “Rada Fisa” and “Rieng Ngenje.”

Apart from being a musician, Ngesh also reveals that she does hawking business in Nairobi just to make ends meet.

Before going viral on social media, Ngesh used to do menial jobs back in Naivasha, and she is going to the top.

Ngesh grew up in the rural areas of Naivasha in Nakuru County.

She comes from a humble background, and music has been an inspiration since she was a young girl.

Her interest in music was evident, especially growing up in a school where she participated in music and drama festivals. Ngesh also has a supportive brother who always makes sure that she masters the skills of writing lyrics and rapping.

 

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