By Stevens Muendo
|CMB Prezzo at he BBA finals where he was named the One Campaign Ambassador|
In October 2006 at the Jubilee Hall in Dar es Salaam, CMB Prezzo struggled as he wiggled his way through the mammoth crowd that had gathered for Jay Z’s big East African concert.
The top Kenyan rapper had flown to Tanzania, not only to attend the Brooklyn star’s concert, but to seek dialogue with him on a possible collabo of sorts — after all, he was the don of hip-hop in the region, then seeking to enlarge his showbiz empire.
Led by his security team, I recall Prezzo wading through the thick crowd to the front row where he looked totally cool and collected as Jay Z wooed the jovial crowd with a sterling performance.
Riding high then, with his Naleta Action and (CMB) Prezzo hits, the undisputed gleam in his image, the swag in his style and floss in his attitude had evidently been borrowed from Jay Z, whom the Kenyan has always regarded as his biggest showbiz icon.
As it turned out, Prezzo did not get the chance to meet his icon — the latter’s top agenda was probably as to how he would go about making a proposal to Beyoncé Knowles. She had flown in with him.
Seven years later, this dream came true on Sunday in South Africa where the self-styled King of Bling stole the show during the Big Brother Stargame (BBA) finals after he was named the One Campaign Ambassador — the international, non partisan, non-profit organisation which aims to increase government funding for and effectiveness of international aid programmes.
“ Prezzo, besides becoming the new One Campaign Ambassador, you will also enjoy all paid-for trips to watch Jay Z’s concerts among other privileges,” IK, the BBA show host, announced as the big crowd gathered inside the BBA auditorium chanted; “ Prezzo... Prezzo... Prezzo.”
A deal bigger than Sh24M
He had missed the Sh24 million winner’s prize to South Africa’s Keagan, coming in second best overall during that emotional final, which saw his mother Dinna Bhoke Makini break into tears as she watched the life transforming episodes inside the BBA house in South Africa. His uncle and aunt were speechless.
“I am lost of words, sir. To me, this means so much that I can barely express it through words. This must be God’s grace,” Prezzo responded when asked what he felt about his new deal.
Besides, the 91-day continental reality TV show was a major turnaround for Prezzo who many have now come to understand and love after years of a not-so-squeaky-clean image.
The rapper is a man of many firsts. He changed the image of local rap by bringing in swag to concerts as he posed a bigger than life lifestyle. No other Kenyan rapper has that cross cutting image, the type that saw him get State House invites. Now, after becoming the first Kenyan to reach the BBA finals and proving his pundits wrong, the new-look Prezzo seems to have turned a new leaf in his legendary showbiz life.