It is now slowly becoming a common trend for successful artistes to resort to carving a niche for themselves in politics. Some have successfully vied for political seats while others still are trying their luck.
Today, we take a look at some of those who have vied for political seats, from Tanzania’s Professor Jay to Kenya’s Jaguar:
- Professor J
Joseph Haule popularly known by his stage name Professor Jay is a Tanzanian hip hop recording artist and member of the Tanzanian parliament for Mikumi constituency.
He started rapping in 1994 as a member of the group Hard Blasters, best known for their hit ‘Chemsha Bongo.’
In 2015, he was declared the new Mikumi constituency legislator after garnering 32,259 votes in the general elections.
- Charles ‘Jaguar’ Kanyi
He is better known by his stage name Jaguar. The Starehe Member of Parliament first made forays as a recording artist in 2004 where he recorded and released his first Single ‘Utaweza Kweli’ under the Mandugu Digitali record label.
He later joined East Africa's music powerhouse, Ogopa Deejays in 2005 where he recorded and released several singles among them his most popular hit single ‘Kigeugeu.’
In 2017, he successfully vied for the Starehe Member of Parliament seat garnering 52, 132 votes in the hotly contested seat. He officially became the first musician to enter parliament in Kenya.
- Bobi Wine
Uganda’s Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu is no stranger in East Africa. Known by his stage name, Bobi Wine has gained popularity across East Africa due to his sharp criticism of President Museveni’s regime.
The sensational musician cum politician began his music career in 1999. His first singles ‘Akagoma’, ‘Funtula’, and ‘Sunda’ (featuring Ziggy D) brought him success in the East African music scene.
His music connects reggae, dancehall, and afrobeat styles, often with a socially conscious message. As of 11 July 2017, he serves as the member of parliament representing Kyaddondo East constituency in Wakiso District, in Uganda's Central Region.
- Sabina Chege
Many did not know that Sabina Wanjiru Chege once acted as Rehema in the popular television Kiswahili soap opera, ‘Tausi’ that aired on KBC TV from 1995.
‘Tausi,’ created by Kibwana Onguso, was a favourite for many Kenyans who religiously followed the story of Mzee Kasri, Siti, Rehema, Rukia and their mother, Bi Zuri.
Years later, she joined politics and is the Women's representative for Murang'a County. She was re-elected to that position in August 2017 on Jubilee political party ticket. She is also the chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Health.
- Peter Kaimenyi
Peter is better known as Kajairo from the iconic TV show ‘Redyukulass,’ KJ used to do humorous remixes to famous songs.
Even though we hear less of him nowadays, in 2007 he vied for the Embakasi MP seat on an Orange Democratic Movement party but lost.
- DJ Kriss Darlin
He is the latest on the list. The Popular Reggae DJ and renowned MC Chris Odhiambo however, has not yet been elected as a legislator yet.
He officially announced his entry to politics about a week ago while presenting his official nomination papers to ODM headquarters. He is vying for Kibra Member of Parliament seat after the death of Ken Okoth.