Sauti Sol's Bien Baraza : You Are Never Going To Hear Stories Of Me Popping Bottles In The Club On My Own Tab
Sauti Sol’s lead singer Bien Baraza opened up on how his family fell from grace to grass. Speaking during an episode of the Safaricom Engage Talks which members of the Sauti Sol have been taking part in, Bien narrated how his family moved from the high end Kilimani area in Nairobi to living in what he described as a shack.
“My dad was the alpha male both financially and in his masculinity. I remember his friends were so loud and had parties every other weekend. There were so many people coming to our house for handouts- if not school fees then it was funerals,” Bien said.
He also narrated how together with his sister, they were moved from a very expensive boarding primary school when things hit the rocks. This was back in 2000 when his dad and mom lost their jobs. His dad lost his job as a director of projects at a very well known NGO while his mother was retrenched.
They moved from Kilimani to a small house in Kajiado County. The new house was half the size of their previous Kilimani house. However, rent soon proved to be a tough nut to crack and they were forced to relocate again, this time to an unfinished house that his father had been constructing in Nkoroi, Rongai.
“The house had no ceiling, the walls were not painted, the floor was not done, basic plumbing was not done either. Basically we lived in a shack, smack in the middle of the April rains,” he said.”It was traumatizing. By that time we had sold all our electronics, but we didn’t need them anyway because our new house had no electricity. All we had to use at night were kerosene lamps.”
Bien and his sister stayed out of school for a whole year since his parents could not afford school fees. Apparently, their parents did not want to enroll them in local public schools. One year down the line, Bien was enrolled in a local school where he sat for his KCPE. he scored good results and was admitted at the Upper Hill School where he met his fellow Sauti Sol band mates.
Meanwhile, his parents searched for jobs until they gave up. “At some point, they stopped trying. Do you know how it feels to see your parents give up? Within a span of six months, my mother lost her parents, she was broken,” he said.
Looking back, Bien Baraza said that he has drawn tremendous lessons from their fall from grace to grass. “Your are never going to hear stories of Bien popping bottles in a club on his own tab,” he said.