"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it."
So said the famous writer and civil rights activist Maya Angelou, perhaps to sprinkle a little sunshine and hope on an otherwise gloomy situation that is life’s challenges.
It is not just us ordinary folk who can get broke, experience tragedy, and hit rock bottom. Celebrities go through it too- showing another side of the otherwise glamorous entertainment industry.
Be it a terrible loss, lack of work or illness, we take a look at instances local stars have asked well-wishers for financial assistance.
Comedian Peter Wamwea, who was previously a comedian in the popular Churchill Comedy series going by the stage name ‘Consumator’ made headlines after announcing that he is struggling and needs help getting back on his feet.
Consumator took to his social media to reveal that he is now working as a caretaker and has been struggling with not only financial difficulties but the illness of a loved one too.
The comedian had previously shared that his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2019, leaving him scrambling to raise money for the costly treatment.
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“I had to move in with a friend in Zimmerman and we agreed to cost-share as I tried to make ends meet. At first, everything was smooth but with time I struggled to pay rent. I would default for months and my friend grew impatient with me,” Consumator told The Standard Entertainment.
He added: “One day he kicked me out of the house at night. It was shameful because people around that area knew me. I spent the night out in the cold.”
Still within the comedy circles, the popular Churchill Show comedian Akuku Danger, real name Mannerson Ochieng appealed for help in January when his health took a worrying turn.
Akuku was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit after one of his lungs collapsed.
After a tumultuous time in and out of the ICU and HDU, the comedian appealed to well-wishers to help him clear the hefty Sh1.5million hospital bill.
“Thanks to everyone for the love, support, prayers. For those who have been showing me love, for those who have been contributing and those of you who are still contributing, from the bottom of my heart I want to say thank you very much and we are almost there,” Akuku said in a video shared on comedian Sandra Dacha’s page.
Way before this, ‘twendy twendy’ hitmaker Justina Syokau who had just come into the limelight came out to let her fans know that not all had been smooth sailing in her life.
Syokau admitted in a series of Facebook posts that 2021 was a difficult year for her and she did not have money to pay her bills despite having one of arguably the biggest viral hits of 2020.
"After a week, the rashes had spread all over my body, and they were itchy. I stopped taking meat, eggs and started detoxing. In the second week, the rashes started forming black spots, and I went to the hospital where I was diagnosed with dermatophytes,” Syokau said of a skin outbreak she experienced and could not explain.
The bubbly singer said that her friends then turned against her, claiming that she was cursed.
“I was broke, and I told my househelp to sell my household items so we can raise funds. I sold my clothes and shoes to offset the hospital bill,” the artiste said, describing her journey after two misdiagnoses.
Celebrated Tusker Project Fame 2012 winner and pastor Ruth Matete grabbed headlines when she appealed for financial aid after the sudden tragic death of her husband.
Matete was sadly left widowed and pregnant after the loss of her Nigerian hubby John Apewajoye which happened after an accident at home.
Months after he passed away, Matete took to social media to let her fans know that their help would go a long way as she was still not able to work while recovering from having a troubled pregnancy.
The November 2020 post intended to commemorate her first wedding anniversary, which the couple did not get to celebrate together.
“A day like this a year ago, your late father and I walked down the aisle. Yes, we did. Promised to be together till death do us part. But death came earlier than we expected. I miss him so much. But am blessed to have you as a gift that he left me with,” she wrote on social media in November 2020 in a message intended for her young daughter.
She added: “Friends, our till number remains the same, in case you wish to support us. Whatever you can, will go a mighty long way as am still not able to work.”
Alvan ‘Love’ Gatitu, a former star of the singing show opened up about his livelihood being affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
In an intense video published on his Facebook account in June 2020, the talented singer revealed that he had been unable to pay his rent and had been kicked out of his home.
Gatitu explained that he had had to sleep in the cold after friends turned their back on him, a tale that sounds all too familiar.
“The reason why I'm in the street at 5:30 is because I slept at guards [sic] booth at Riara as my house was closed… I tried calling my landlord and the manager but they did not pick my calls, so I had to leave. My closest friends said they couldn’t host me because they have their own problems. I had thought another friend could help but when I reached their gate he told the guards not to open the gate for me,” he said.
In the video, Gatitu called on struggling celebrities not to be ashamed of their situation, adding that fame doesn’t necessarily transmit into financial freedom.
On the list of stars who called for help is the actor Omosh, real name Kamau Kinuthia.
The Tahidi High actor went viral after his 2021 pleas for financial assistance and work.
“All this time I have been jobless without any source of income. I had tried other gigs but they did not materialize. It has been a tough journey, especially now with the pandemic,” Omosh told The Standard Entertainment at the time.
The actor said that he used to earn about Sh18,000 per episode on Tahidi High, but was struggling to make ends meet.