Recently announced as the highest paid artiste by the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) in terms of his accrued royalties, Hubert Nakitare also known as Nonini, avers that his feat in the music scene has been a long time coming and it is only his resilience and enduring that has earned him such high glamour.
â€œI give it to my fans all over East Africa for the constant support they have accorded to my music and more thanks to them now that I am clinching the top earners slot for second time in the local music scene,â€ the self-styled Genge Godfather says.
According to Nonini, the local music scene is currently more competitive than 12 years ago when he debuted into the scene, times when artistes had to rely on gate entrance fees and would record new singles for fun.
Nonini affirms that today, music is a fully fledge profession, as he smiles all the way to the bank after he was listed as the top earner recently, netting more than Sh1million in royalties â€” a feat that made him the first ever local artiste to surpass the one million mark in royalties paid in within three months of collection.
The self-proclaimed Genge Godfather debuted into the showbiz scene in 2002 with the hit song We Kamu and Manzi Wa Nairobi. Since then, he has released three albums dubbed Hanyaring Game released in 2004, Mwisho ya Mawazo (2007) and Godfather (2009).
â€œI am currently recording my 12-song fourth album, slated for release anytime this year,â€ he adds.
The song Pole Pole, which features Annette and is currently faring well, will be among the songs in the album.
His hefty royalty package, however, has not gone down well with other artistes who have since dismissed such figures saying Nonini does not deserve such pay. They argue that their music receives more airplay than his.
However, Nonini dismisses these critics:
â€œSome people think that I am being paid so much for one song. What most of them fail to recognise is that I have three albums and that is what earns me such royalties.â€
The talented rapper is also celebrated as the only urban artiste in the local showbiz scene to ever release more than 25 music videos.
Apart from music, Nonini is an entrepreneur who owns a clothing line dubbed Nonini Wear. He is a radio host at One FM and also owns a video production agency called Pro Habo.
He was recently elected as a director representing the Audio Visual Sector at the Performance Rights Society of Kenya where he expects to help in consolidating efforts towards royaltiesâ€™ collections and represents the plight of artistes in the entertainment industry. He also doubles up as an activist for the rights of the marginalised, such as the people with albinism through his Colour Kwa Face campaign, which advocates and sensitises people on the well being of persons with albinism.
It has not been an easy road for the star, it has taken him more than 12 years to learn the tricks in the industry. He confesses that it has been a journey achieved through patience, resilience and nurturing diversity in his music.
In his hit song, Kumbuka featuring Lady Bee, Nonini narrates his transition in the music industry citing anecdotes of how difficult it used to be for upcoming artistes to be recognised in Kenya.
â€œI am married and I have a one yearÂ old son, Jaden Nakitare, who lives in USA,â€ NoniniÂ reveals.
Known for his controversial and sexually explicit lyrics, Nonini agrees that his responsibility as a father and a husband have impacted to his change of style and lyrics, which are now more conscious and mature.
The award winning artiste has a number of accolades under his name, among the recent ones include:Â MCSK 2012 Cross Over Artiste, Top Earner MCSK Royalties Artiste 2013, Best Hip-Hop Song (Colour Kwa Face) at the Kisima Awards 2012 and Best Director Music Video Kisima Awards 2012 with the same song among other accolades.