Starlet Wahu's tragic tale of fame, faith and consequences

Starlet Wahu. She was fatally stabbed by John Matara (right) at an Airbnb in South B, Nairobi. [Courtesy]

In the shadows of social media stardom and religious controversies, the Kanyari family emerges as a captivating tale of success, faith, and ultimately, tragedy.

Starlet Wahu, a 26-year-old socialite, recently met her gruesome death when she was fatally stabbed during a date with a man identified as John Matara at an Airbnb in Nairobi’s South B area.

But the intricate web of Wahu’s family’s history, marked by prosperity, controversy and now an unspeakable loss, is as intriguing as it is heartbreaking. The University of Nairobi alumni hails from a family with a unique blend of pursuits, which has caused them scrutiny in the past.

Her mother, the self-proclaimed Prophetess Lucy Nduta, claimed to cure HIV and Aids in the early 2000s through special miracle prayers. Each special prayer attracted a ‘seed’, or financial offering, resulting in declaration of health.

This scandal, exposed in 2006, led to Nduta’s conviction in 2008. She was sentenced to a two-year jail term and was subsequently released in 2010.

Before the dust on Nduta’s dubious miracles could settle, her son Pastor Victor Kanyari found a different path to prosperity, telling his followers to plant a seed (panda mbegu) of Sh310 in order to receive God’s blessings.

Kanyari would later share the repercussions of his ‘ministry’ in a TikTok video. He disclosed the aftermath, including the dissolution of his marriage, financial setbacks, and abandonment by co-workers.

Meanwhile, Kanyari’s younger sister Wahu would rise to fame as an Instagram influencer, often referred to as a “Baddie” in the realm of social media. Her opulent lifestyle and confident persona resonated with followers, presenting a curated version of a life that was enviable to many.

A close friend and TV host, Chipukeezy, reflected on Wahu’s impact, emphasising her instrumental role in connecting him with guests for his show.

Socialite Starlet Wahu. [Courtesy]

He however lamented the societal decline, expressing concern about relationships based on money that lead to dire consequences.

“The saddest part is that I knew that lady. She introduced me to Kanyari. I remember one time Kanyari trended because of listening to secular music while coming from Machakos as the lady recorded him. I slid in her DM. I am not sure if it was Kanyari I was looking for or her, but I slid in that DM,” he said.

But the family’s success stories would take a tragic turn with Wahu’s untimely demise last week, shedding light on their controversial lifestyles.

In the wake of Wahu’s death, Kanyari took a firm stance on maintaining the family’s privacy. During a Sunday service, he requested that the media refrain from reaching out to him.

Wakati dada yangu alikufa hakukua na jambo ingine la kufanya ila kumzika...niliona watanisumbua (When my sister died, there was nothing else to do but bury her... I saw that they would bother me),” he said.

The family quickly organised a private funeral just days after Wahu’s death. Only close family members and friends were invited to the funeral.

The circumstances surrounding Wahu’s murder are both mysterious and unsettling. As the investigation unfolds, the motive behind the fatal stabbing remains elusive, leaving a void of unanswered questions.

According to the police and CCTV footage, the socialite checked into an Airbnb with 34-year-old John Matara, who left the premises alone.

Wahu’s body was later discovered in a pool of blood by the Airbnb owner after Matara messaged the owner saying he had had a big fight with his girlfriend, and had left her in a ‘bad state’.

Kanyari shared the family’s grief with his congregation last Sunday where he revealed that the man seen with his sister in CCTV footage was unknown to the family.

Expressing profound sorrow, Kanyari emphasised the tragic loss, stating, “I am heartbroken; she was doing so well in life. We learned about him after her death. This is so tragic for us, the family, and even her friends. May her soul rest in peace.”