With the recent strides of East Africans in the music industry recently, the natural thing is to find out who the richest musicians in East Africa are. This is because most people have the impression that musicians should be rich, and they probably got the impression by watching the music videos where the common practice is to pose in luxury surrounds, wearing designer clothes, and driving expensive cars.
Other musicians from other regions on the continent already have their wealth verified; Wizkid and Burna Boy already own private jets and rake in several hundreds of millions of dollars every year. That is further incentive to find out who the richest musicians are in this region of Africa; it’s a good way to compare the markets of West and East Africa and to see how well the music industry is developing.
Top 10 Richest Musicians In East Africa
1 Bobi Wine
Net Worth: USD 9 million
Bobi Wine is the richest musician in East Africa at the moment with a net worth of 9 million US Dollars. His real name is Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, and he is a man of great influence; especially among the youth. Bobi Wine is a musician, actor, and politician. He was formerly a Member of Parliament, representing Kyadondo County East constituency in Wakiso District, which is in Uganda’s Central Region.
Bobi Wine is one of Uganda’s most prominent musicians; he has been in the music scene since the early 2000s. His first singles “Akagoma”, “Funtula”, and “Sunda” were very successful and made him popular throughout East Africa. His music style is quite diverse; he alternates between reggae, dancehall, and afrobeat. Most of his songs usually have messages for the masses.
He has featured in several films such as; Yogera, Divizionz, and The Ghetto President which was his own reality TV show. He owns a record label, which also has a popular recording studio.
2 Diamond Platinumz
Net Worth: USD 8.2 million
Diamond Platnumz is the face of the Tanzanian music industry. He is one of the most recognizable musicians in East Africa, and may soon eclipse Bobi Wine for wealth. Diamond Platinumz’s real name is Nasibu Abdul Juma Issack, and he is a successful music artist, as well as a Youtube celebrity. He was born and raised in Tandale, Dar es Salaam, and started his music career in the early 2000’s.
His first commercially successful song was titled “Kamwambie,” and was released in 2010. That song won three awards and catapulted him to stardom. He went on to release his debut album that same year, and from there it has been one success after another. Diamond Platnumz is the first African artist to get a combined 1 billion views on his Youtube Channel.
He makes steady money from his Youtube, as well as from shows, and the sales of records he produces.
3 Jose Chameleon
Net Worth: USD 8 million
Jose Chameleon, whose real name is Joseph Mayanja is a popular Ugandan musician, whose fame has spread throughout the region. As a musician; he is very versatile; he does Afrobeat, Ugandan folk music, Central African rumba, Zouk, and Reggae. Jose Chameleone sings in Luganda, English, and Swahili. His fan base cuts across East Africa, and he is quite popular in Central Africa as well.
He is a very popular and connected artist; he has worked with Davido, Dr. Alban, Koffi Olomide, Professor Jay, Beenie Man, and so many others. He has released a total of 13 albums and has done countless collaborations over the course of his career.
Net Worth: USD 7.6 million
Akothee, whose real name is Esther Akoth, is one of the best-known musicians in Kenya. She has built her name into a brand by starting several businesses with which she has affected several lives. Akothee has used popularity to great advantage; she grew up in an ambitious household but chose to navigate her own path through life.
She dropped out of high school to run away with her husband, and when many thought that was the end of her life; she hit the music scene like a bolt of lightning! Akothee has worked with stars from all over the continent including Flavour, MC Galaxy, Diamond Platnumz, and so on. She has received several awards for her work and has earned huge amounts of money as well.
She is also a businesswoman; she is the founder of Akothee Safaris, a tour company based in Kenya. She also owns Aknotela and Akothee Homes; a real estate business. She does her charitable work through The Akothee Foundation.
5 Professor Jay
Net Worth: USD 7.5 million
Professor Jay, whose real name is Joseph Haule is a popular Tanzanian rapper. He was born December 29, 1975, and has had an illustrious career in music. He is one of those the younger generation looks up to; he has achieved success as a rapper, songwriter, and politician.
He is one of the prominent performers of the “Bongo Flava” genre of music that is popular in Tanzania. He is also an activist; many of his songs talk about issues such as HIV/AIDS, wealth, inequality, and political corruption. He has won several awards during his career; and the crowning moment of his career was when he won the elective office of Member of the Tanzanian parliament, representing Mikumi constituency.
6 Ali Kiba
Net Worth: USD 7.2 million
Ali Saleh Kiba is better known as Ali Kiba, or sometimes as King Kiba. He is one of Tanzania’s most prominent showmen, and one of the richest musicians in East Africa. He was born in 1986, in Iringa, Tanzania.
Ali Kiba has released several albums over the course of his career. He has also won several awards to show for his work. He has worked with several top artists including Sauti Sol, Rudeboy, Mwana Fa, The Prince, Brown DJ, and so on. He worked with R Kelly on a song for Airtel, along with about 25 other top African artists.
Net Worth: USD 7 million
Jaguar is a popular Kenyan musician. His real name is Charles Njagua Kanyi, and he is one of the most commercially successful musicians from Kenya; he has also used his fame as a force for good. He started music in the early 2000s and his first successful track was Utaweza Kweli, which he released in 2004. Real success came in 2005 when he joined Ogopa Deejays.
After further musical success, in which he has collaborated with some of the most popular musicians on the continent, he ventured into politics. In 2015, Jaguar was elected as the director of the National Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse. He then became a member of the Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare. He was elected to serve as a Member of Parliament, representing the Constituency of Starehe in Nairobi in 2017.
Net Worth: USD 5.9 million
Harmonize is a Tanzanian musician. His real name is Rajab Abdul Kahali, and he was born on born 15 March 1994. He started his music journey in the music industry around 2011. He started making a noticeable impact after teaming up with Diamond Platinumz, and his first song “Aiyola” was commercially successful. He went ahead to win several awards with that song; therefore setting him up for more success.
9 Sauti Sol
Net Worth: USD 5.8 million
Sauti Sol is a popular music group from Kenya. The group has been active since at least 2005. Sauti Sol has several tracks and albums under its name, and has performed in packed arenas all over Africa and beyond. The group has won several awards for its efforts including the Kisima Music Awards, the Channel O Music Video Awards, and then the MTV Europe Music Awards, as well as the BET Awards.
10 Bebe Cool
Net Worth: USD 5.62 million
Bebe Cool is a popular Ugandan musician. His real name is Moses Ssali, and he was born 1 September 1977. He does African reggae and raga genres of music and alternates between them effortlessly. He started his music career around 1997 in Nairobi, Kenya, but moved back to Uganda where he has achieved success.
Bebe Cool has won several awards including; the HiPipo Music Awards, Channel O Music Video Awards, Pearl of Africa Music Awards (PAM Awards), and several others.
In 2008, Bebe Cool performed for the Nelson Mandela 90th Birthday Tribute in Hyde Park, London. He has since been involved in HIV advocacy, as well as other charitable works.
Africans show intense passion for music and this contributes to the significant rate at which African musicians make waves with their talents. In this regard, East Africa is not exempted from the African regions with a considerable number of successful musicians.
The richest musicians in East Africa are mostly big celebrities who have spread their wings across the continent and beyond. They have shown the entrepreneurship spirit of Africans, and have diversified their sources of income far beyond the entertainment industry. Furthermore, many of them have been involved in charity, advocacy, and politics.