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Dirty lyrics denied me endorsement deals, Nonini tells new artistes

Kenyan rapper Hubert Nakitare popularly known as Nonini has revealed how he missed out on several endorsement deals and ironically a condom one, as a result of his controversial hit songs back in the days.

About a decade ago, Nonini took the Kenyan music scene by storm thanks to his vulgar hit songs such as Manzi wa Nairobi and Wee Kamu, among others.

The hits songs courted controversies just as Gengetone music is currently doing, leading to him being branded as the bad boy of the Kenyan music scene then.

But despite the songs raising his popularity, Nonini reveals that they denied him many lucrative endorsement deals.

Clearing the Airwaves

Speaking to Clearing the Airwaves, the godfather of genge, notes that his peers in the game at the time including Nameless, Redsan and Ogopa Deejays kept bagging endorsement deals but none ever came his way despite his music quite popular.

“Kina Nameless walikuwa wanapata ma-endorsments, kina Redsan, kina Ogopa, guys were doing shows for Redbull, Trust condom, watu wanawekwa kwa ma billboards. Although I had hits, biggest hits in this country, I never got any endorsement, nothing. Because the people who were seating in the board rooms back then walikuwa wanasema zii, huyu jamaa ni controversial hatuwezi muweka kwa any of our brands,” Nonini recounts.

The former Performers Rights Society Of Kenya (PRISK) Chairman, says he realised much later that the cause of this was his controversial music.

“I came to realise that baadaye. Kwa hii time yote tuko na kina Clemo so we are realising mbona hatupati maendorsement? Mashow napiga, ground iko sawa, tour ndo hizo ziko scheduled kupiga USA, Australia wapi wapi lakini endorsement zii. Tukiangalia endorsements ni ma artistes wengine wanapiga,” Nonini added.

The rapper says he decided to open up so that the younger generation of musicians could learn from his mistakes.

Some of the new artistes singing gengetone have been accused of glorifying rape and underage sex.

Nonini pointed out that his first-ever endorsement deal came much later, in 2018.

“The first corporate money I ever got big-time was from Safaricom just the other day when I became their Brand Ambassador last year but one (2018). That’s the first corporate endorsement Nonini has ever gotten so unaweza imagine what I have gone through in my career,” he revealed.