From Kilimani Home to Rock Bottom - Bien Baraza Opens Up [VIDEO]

  • Sauti Sol's Bien-Aimé Baraza.
    Sauti Sol's Bien-Aimé Baraza.
  • Bien Baraza of Sauti Sol has opened up about his experience at rock bottom, having to move from the lush Kilimani area to what he described as a shack.

    During a recent episode of Engage Talk, he recalled watching his parents lose their well-paying jobs and falling from Grace.

    "My dad was the alpha male both financially and in his masculinity. I remember his friends were so loud and had parties every other weekend. There were so many people coming to our house for handouts- if not school fees then it was funerals," he recalled. 

    Bien Barasa speaking during an episode of Engage Talk
    Bien Barasa speaking during an episode of Engage Talk

    At the time, Bien and his sister had been enrolled in a very pricey boarding school since their parents could afford the school fees. 

    However, things took a turn for the worst in 2000 when his father lost his job as a director of projects at a very well known NGO. His mother was also retrenched, leaving their family with no source of income. 

    The family had to readjust and move to a smaller house that was less than half the size of their Kilimani home. 

    Despite moving to a smaller house in Kajiado County, his parents couldn't make the rent, forcing them to move into an incomplete house his father had been building in Nkoroi. 

    "No ceiling, the walls were not painted, the floor was not done, basic plumbing was not done either. Basically we lived in a shack, smack in the middle of the April rains. 

    "It was traumatising. By that time we had sold all our electronics, but we didn't need them anyway because our new house had no electricity. All we had to use at night were kerosene lamps," the musician recalled. 

    Bien and his sister stayed out of school for a whole year because their parents didn't want to enroll them into the local public schools.

    His parents tried looking for jobs but with each try, they only received rejection letters, which further crushed their spirits.

    "At some point, they stopped trying. Do you know how it feels to see your parents give up? Within a span of six months, my mother lost her parents, she was broken," he recalled.

    Bien felt angry because his father's friends had abandoned him, relatives whom he helped were nowhere to be seen

    After a year of being out of school, Bien was enrolled into a local school where he sat for his KCPE and was called to join Upperhill School and met his fellow Sauti Sol band members. Music became his escape from whatever life had thrown at his family.

    He explained that the rock bottom experience scarred him for life and greatly influenced how he deals with money in his present life. 

    It makes him question his friendships and wonder whether his buddies are only there because he is a star. 

    "Your are never going to hear stories of Bien popping bottles in a club on his own tab," he asserted. 

    He added that would never let his wife look at him the same may his mother looked at her husband when they fell from grace.