Omosh, Lolani Kalu & Others: Why Kenyan Stars Are Struggling While a Few Thrive

  • Omosh, Lolani Kalu and Alvan Love have in the past asked for financial help from Kenyans
    Omosh, Lolani Kalu and Alvan Love have in the past asked for financial help from Kenyans
  • A section of Kenyan celebrities including ex-Tahidi High actor Kamau Kinuthia alias Omosh, former NTV journalist Lolani Kalu, gospel musician Ruth Matete, Tusker Project Fame (TPF) star Alvan Gatitu and Njoro the Comedian have in the recent past asked for financial help from Kenyans. spoke to digital content expert, Brian Muuo, to understand why stars who Kenyans thought were living the dream life, ended up asking for financial aid to cater for basic needs.

    Muuo explained that for actors, one of the reasons why they hardly get new shows is because viewers already associate them with the older shows they cast in.

    Gospel Musician Ruth Matete.
    Gospel Musician Ruth Matete.

    “Acting jobs you are not called for, you have an agent looking for roles and many times if you have already appeared on TV in certain roles, directors and producers of new shows may not want you because your character is strongly associated with the older show,” Muuo stated.

    He added that in other markets abroad, people had managed to transition to the digital age with huge shows and podcasts. This explained why stars from abroad who were at their prime during the analog time still stayed in the lime light after the digital media dominated the space.

    “There is obviously more competition from young creative content creators but platforms like YouTube are open and the older actors and artists can always find a new way to content create and move up the production chain to be directors,” Muuo said.

    Omosh hit the headlines in February 2021 after he revealed that he was about to be kicked out over Ksh150,000 rental arrears. Since then, he has joined YouTube as a content creator. 

    Speaking to YouTuber Tonnie Muriithi in August 2020, radio presenter Felix Odiwour commonly known as Jalang’o disclosed that YouTube paid him Ksh1.8 million as his first cheque.

    Muuo explained that YouTube revenue is calculated on a cost per mile (CPM) basis. This means that a content creator is paid for every 1,000 ad impressions their content gets.

    “If you are having trouble getting views, try to be creative on where you share your videos. Targeting an audience with an interests in your type of content works better than trying to appeal to a general audience,” he advised content creators.

    Kenyan musicians have also not been spared with the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) paying artists as low as Ksh2,530 in royalties.

    “It is the industry in Kenya and the money they collect, YouTube, Spotify etc pay almost similar amounts. Kenyans do not pay for content. There is a limited number of corporates spending on creative artists and even those who do, they are selective. Talent means nothing, it is your own hard work that will pay,” Muuo stated.

    The most common reason stars cite is the termination of contracts and not getting other opportunities once the contracts are terminated.

    Stars like Lolani Kalu, Alvan Love and Omosh were among the few lucky ones who got financial help and jobs after sharing their struggles with Kenyans.

    The latest star to ask for help is former Machachari’s actress Ciara Wamaitha Ngethe commonly known as Mama Stella or Cindy who appealed to Kenyans to help her raise Ksh150,000 to help cater for her medical needs.

    Former NTV reporter Lolani Kalu at his former place of work
    Former NTV reporter Lolani Kalu at his former place of work