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Meet Africa’s richest musicians. Know how many Kenya has?

2017-05-19T11:41:46.065+0000 Njenga Hakeenah
Khaligraph Jones. He has courted controversy by bleaching and flaunting his money. [Photo: Ghafla]

Africa’s 10 richest artists have been revealed in this year’s May edition of the Forbes Africa magazine.

The 10 musicians were selected on the basis of popularity, brand value, bookings, advertising contracts, winnings and their presence on social media.

According to Channel O, a South African music station, the list shows that African artists make a lot of money in Africa and not outside the continent.

At number 10 is Zimbabwe’s Oliver Mtukudzi whom according to Forbes Africa has already recorded 65 albums. This is more than Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston combined.

Mtukudzi’s remarkable career has lasted 41 years. He has performed with Kenya’s Eric Kimani and was a popular face in Safaricom concerts.

Ghana’s Sarkodie comes in at number nine. He has managed to etch a way of life for himself even becoming a youth ambassador in the West African country.

The musician has started the Sarkodie Foundation to tackle the plight of the homeless and disinherited children in his country and also has a clothing brand, Sark clothing.

With more than 14 awards, he is also an ambassador of the Samsung Electronics brand.

Still, in West Africa, Davido who hails from Nigeria comes in at number eight. He has seen a remarkable success in just five years. According to, he has several international and local awards.

Another Nigerian holds the seventh position and is undoubtedly currently one of the champions of African music. Wizkid has been awarded a Grammy.

At number six is another Nigerian-born Jidenna who at the age of 10, knew he wanted to make music but was afraid to tell his father. Born Jidenna Theodore Mobisson, the father wanted him to be an engineer.

Despite its economy struggling on a billion dollar scale, Zimbabwe Tinashe Kachingwe makes it to the list at number five.

The 24-year-old began singing before she could articulate the words. His father is Zimbabwean and her mother Danish. The parents have always helped Tinashe who was a model at age of three. She made her first appearance in 2000 in the movie Cora Unashamed and her voice served in the comic book The Polar Express with actor Tom Hanks, according to

Another Nigerian takes the number four spot. Don Jazzy, who is a music producer, is the CEO of Mavin Records. The label was behind the success of most of the emblematic songs of the history of African music.

South Africa’s Hugh Masekela comes in at number three. The world-renowned trumpeter, composer and singer has released more than 43 albums to his name. He has performed alongside Marvin Gaye, Dizzy Gillespie, The Byrds, Fela Kuti, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and the late Miriam Makeba.

Another South African, Black Coffee, holds the second spot. Born Nkosinathi Maphumulo, he is an award-winning artist born in KwaZulu-Natal and raised in Eastern Cape.

And Senegal’s Akon tops the list!

This African and international superstar launched the careers of Lady Gaga and T-Pain. He is the CEO of Konvict Music and an ambassador of several brands.

In Africa, he has worked with P-Square and Wizkid among others.

Unfortunately, no Kenyan makes it to this list leaving us to wonder, is it all show even for the like of the ‘dis-coloured’ Khaligraph Jones?

Be the judge…