Moya David needs no introduction on these streets. Taking a walk around the social media alleys you might bump into him doing his thing.
The dancer and one of the most followed TikToker in Kenya has become a household name. He has a total of over 3.5 million followers on TikTok.
His videos, where he surprises people on the streets, markets, homes, and even restaurants before he spreads cheer by dancing for them amass millions of views in a short span and have seen him evolve into a darling of many, especially the ladies.
At the end of his skits, he busts into a dance move while gyrating to Mi Amor. He then grabs some chocolate, flowers and sometimes a card and blows confetti while leaving the ladies smitten.
And he says this has been the cure to lots of relationships. “I use my art to change the world, spreading hope because the world needs that and that is enough for me,” he says.
Although he became famous a couple of months ago, his trade has taken 10 whole years. “I started dancing a while ago but professionally I started four years ago. This was one original idea that I had but took time to formulate the whole thing,” he says.
“At first it was more of a prank where I would ambush unsuspecting people while draped in a taekwondo outfit and pretend I wanted to fight them. Illikuwa tu uchokozi,” he adds.
This technique mostly appealed to men and he wanted to do something for the ladies as well. “There is this one particular time I surprised a fruit vendor, and I was not doing it for pay. I was in the line of duty and the lady appreciated it. She paid me with a mango. Her appreciation was genuine and I felt it. The video got 10 million views in three days,” he says.
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A couple of videos later he surprised a female matatu tout who could not hide her joy. She almost fell off her feet. “This was the turning point. My cameraman and I almost broke into tears. From then on, this has been looking good. What most do not know is that this was over 100 videos later that had never seen the light of day,” he says.
Since then, Moya has been highflying, working with big brands and globetrotting. “This year alone, I have been to six countries and I have a couple more coming,” he says.
He is always looking sharp with cut-to-fit suits coupled with his signature headband. He does not come cheap, either. Although he refused to share his rate card with us, he says that he normally works with the client’s budget and not a fixed amount. This is a typical example of who pays the piper calling the tune.
“Some people pay to the tune of hundreds of thousands just to surprise their loved ones but I am in this trade to spread joy and not for the money,” he says.
This particular Friday, as we sat for the interview, Moya showed up in a pin-striped suit, looking all good and fresh.
“Dealing with ladies means you have to look good, smell nice and show up all glammed up. That is why I have a designer who gives my clothing a thought and ensures I am on point every time,” he says.
Moya is also a busy man, and his phone is constantly ringing, but with his assistant by his side, the clients are taken care of.
“I started solo but I currently have a team of six people. I walk with them everywhere. They take care of the business, identify the person I am supposed to surprise and set up the equipment. All I do is show up, do my thing and bounce,” he says.
The trade too comes with a couple of challenges but he admits he is not in the business of coming between people’s affairs. “Sometimes someone might ask not to appear in the video. This is a mistake that I made once but he had not made the request before. So I was forced to pull down the video,” he says.
A couple of weeks ago, he also decided to diversify his portfolio, opening a modern spa on Ngong Road, Nairobi. “Content creation is, without a doubt, a high-paying career but I chose to change tack and get an extra buck,” he says of his high-end spa, Moya City Spa.