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Youth, fame and death

 A collage of the late Michael Mugo and Aziza Frisby.

Friday the 13th has long been known as the day of bad luck. However, we realise how lucky we were to have had such amazing creatives and personalities who have passed on in the past month.

Some are better known than others, but each was the star of their own field. From Nigeria’s bubbly and quiet star, Mohbad, to our own such as social media beauty Aziza Frisby and ‘Bangi’ star Michael Mugo, each of these young creatives shone in their respective spaces.

Dangerous fame

For Michael Mugo, his 2020 smash hit ‘Bangi’ became an online sensation and a therapeutic record for young people during COVID-19.

Released as an audio in 2019, ‘Bangi’ quickly became a new progressive club-banging street pop song, much like other tracks of the Gengetone era by Ochungulo Family, Boondocks Gang and Ethic.

Although Mugo didn’t ride his star to notoriety, he had a special gift inside of him that could have made him a superstar.

Mugo was also known as Lion, a name given to someone known for their fighting spirit and love for the sweet smoke.

He suffered mental health issues, something influencer Elodie Zone said affects many young people, not just entertainers.

“It is the fact that there’s a lot of pressure to put out a ton of content all the time because the internet never sleeps and trends appear and disappear within days. It’s gotten to a point where I sometimes forget to ‘enjoy the moment’ because I’m filming it and planning how to edit and what music to put in the background,” said Elodie.

Psychologist Dr Judy Gitau says fame is a mental health issue in psychiatry today. The advent of social media and the quick rush of likes and instant gratification can take a mental toll on one.

“(Fame) is addictive because it gives one a sense of belonging which involves being acquainted with other people and one gains acceptance, attention and support. And fame comes with monetary benefits, networks and favours,” She says.

Once one acquires this sort of status, it becomes a safety net for many, and some become too comfortable in that space. Others begin to feel invincible, and this could be dangerous. Living for the cheers can get you so far, but what happens when it all gets taken away?  

Controversial goings

This season we lost beautiful lives of angels such as the late Aziza Frisby after a night of drinking with her friends.

Her sister found her unconscious after she failed to wake up on the morning of October 4 at their Elena Apartments in Kileleshwa.

Aziza, a British-Tanzanian personality residing in Nairobi has inspired an awakening from friends, including celebrity Vera Sidika who has accused fake celebrities for sympathizing with Aziza’s family online but failing to attend her funeral.

Besides Aziza, we also lost groundbreaking artistes such as Byron Papi, the force behind the ‘Sipangwingwi’ hit and videographer Muendo Mullei, the brainchild behind Xenia Manasseh’s ‘Anticipate’ visual with singer Karun, which has caught many by surprise.

Xenia’s manager Faiza Hersi has asked for “people to celebrate and check on one another while still here”.

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