This young man is Papa Dennis.
He just showed up dead last night after falling from a building.
Police say everything indicates that he committed suicide.
I believe he did.
I once had an appointment with a certain politician and halfway through our meeting, he told me he was expecting a guest for a 10 minute briefing. This was at Panafric Hotel.
The guest arrived and it was Papa Dennis.
The politician, a sitting senator, walked up to another table and they sat speaking in hushed tones for about 15 minutes before the young man left. Papa Dennis didn’t immediately leave the premises, but went to make a call in the front parking yard.
I left the hotel 15 minutes later and caught him entering his vehicle, a white Land Cruiser V8. And it was brand new.
Had I have been naive and dumb as a dodo, I’d have thought maybe his music was doing so well he had bought his cars and jewellery with his sweat.
Papa Dennis was discovered not many years ago by MP Alfred Keter in Kitale, Matunda while with Saddat Mhindi of Maliza Umaskini .
Now, if you know Saddat, you’d know why I’d be worried. This gentleman is the reason Ray C checked into rehab severally, abused drugs, became a psycho and dropped out of mainstream music. Ray C was once east Africa’s Beyonce.
Papa Dennis became so wealthy quickly that he would be known to have close to 100M in his accounts. His bank balance allowed him expensive music videos running to tens of millions and collabos with big names like Mr Flavor etc.
Did his music pay for this?
We know this industry. It can make you some tidy sums. But not disposable 100M in few years yet you’re not flying off the shelves and booked month to month.
Papa Dennis met rich Arabian royals, African royals and everyone in between.
But Papa Dennis was doing menial work not so long back. He is an orphan who lived off a slum at some point. He had no formal education nor skillsets to make him leap frog. He had some talent. I can’t say the was the best vocalist in Kenya. But he had a personal story that was attractive to manipulators. They realised he didn’t have much of a support system.
Money laundering is my suspect.
Narcos is my other suspect.
This young boy was left by Saddat Mhindi and reports are that he has been disturbed since. His resources quickly dried up and he was suddenly woke to the reality that music doesn’t pay that much anyway.
He died without a coin on him. Zero balance.
He didn’t even invest in a music shop or DJ equipment, seeing that expecting him to buy government bonds and stock market trading would have been too complicated for him.
All he bought were depreciating assets and disposables. Were they even registered in his name?
He died. Miserable. Alone. Broke. Broken.
Young people, traditional money-making ways is still the best way out of poverty. It takes time but it pays off. If you must make shortcuts in life, be very strategic and clever about it because, in the long run, your survival skills and mental stamina is what you will have left.
BY Kiprono Arap Kalya