Slums To Mansions: Celebrities Who Came From Poor Families

Inspiring stories

By  | Jan 13, 2022, 03:51 PM  | Octopizzo  | Top of The

Huddah Monroe-Image
For most celebrities, attaining wealth is all they think about. Having been drawn from the bottom rungs of society, the experiences they have endured taught them that perhaps, if they could attain a rare stratosphere of their talent, they could turn that very blessing into an opportunity out of their poverty.

Like a lot of Kenyans, these artists were born into poverty but they realized they had the talent to turn their circumstances around and that is precisely what they did thanks to their talents. They either sang or acted or ran etc their way out of the slums they had found themselves born into.

So who are these celebs in question? Well, you could always find out by checking out the list we have compiled below:


He was born Kelvin Kioko in the heart of Mathare slums. He was, however, raised as an orphan in ABC Kenya Children’s home in Kariobangi after his parent abandoned him.

his greatest gift wasn't even his musical talent but the ability borne within him to identify important people and seek them out to further his cause. He did so with J Blessing and then with Jaguar and since then, he has been able to work up a network that boasts even the president of the land, Uhuru Kenyatta.


Born and raised in Migori County, she conceived her first child while still living in her mother's house. She then moved in with her "husband" but there were no opportunities available to them. Then she got pregnant a second time.

Her husband fled the young family leaving her with the responsibility of raising 2 daughters. It was at this point she decided to seek a job at a hotel in an urban centre.

Then she met her first white baby daddy and he helped her elevate herself out of her penury existence. The rest, as they say, is history.


He was born and bred in Homa Bay County to poor parents whose only source of livelihood was subsistence farming.

If you think growing up poor in the city is tough then you haven't given any thought to growing up poor in the village. At least in town, there are some amenities and advantages that trickle down. In the villages, there are no such possibilities.

So Jalas had to first travel to an urban centre before he could even begin his ascent out of destitution.

Khaligraph Jones

Kayole's finest; as the name suggests, he grew up in one of Nairobi's toughest low-income neighbourhoods.

One of the most vivid memories he has is of the day he realized he would no longer be able to continue pursuing his education. He admits that this was a great catalyst in propelling him forward as far as his music career is concerned because he realized it was either that or he continues with his job as a bouncer. And if you know anything about this job then you know you wouldn't want to do it at the clubs located in one of Kenya's toughest neighbourhoods.

Willy Paul

Another denizen of Mathare slums, Wilson Abubakar Radido was born to Paul and Slome Radido. Although when his father passed away, his family was subjected to the grind of poverty.

When he eventually begun singing, it was much to the chagrin of a lot of industry heavyweights who were opposed to the notion of a gospel artist from Mathare, a slum known for all its vices. 

Fortunately for him, J Blessing took him under his wing and begun to open doors for Bwana Mkunaji. From this point onwards, he was able to climb up out of his station in life and even bought himself a state of the art Mercedes Benz C200.


She was born to a single mother who raised her in Eastleigh. If you know anything about Africa in the 80s and early 90s, then you know that for a single Somali mother, options were limited as her culture would doubtless turn its back on her as would the rest of society she would otherwise have been expected to assimilate into.

Needless to say, Huddah learnt from an early age to do without. That is also why when she finally made it onto the public scene, she was without several teeth apart from bearing a struggle face.

She however used her feminine wiles and God-given social acumen to find men who were willing to finance her climb out of poverty.

And just like that, these celebs either used their talents or their smarts to elevate themselves out of poverty. What is your excuse?

For more hot entertainment content, click here.
Read more