The gospel singer is known for creating expensive and flamboyant music videos, but what you probably didn’t know is that Papa Dennis has experienced poverty first hand and can attest that only God saved him from all the struggles and challenges.
Papa Dennis, real name, Dennis Mwangi has become one of the most sought after gospel acts in Kenya in the last one year or so, and through his hard work, he has been able to collaborate with some of Kenya’s bigwigs in the music industry.
This year, the injili hitmaker spread his wings outside Kenya, working with Africa’s top Nigerian artistes Chidinma and Mavin Records’ Korede Bello to drop hit songs; Bless Me and Wonder, respectively.
The songs marked a very big milestone in the singer’s career since he did something that no other gospel artiste has done – other than Willy Paul – by collaborating with popular secular artistes who are not Kenyan.
It’s safe to say that Papa Dennis has a successful musical career, but did you know that he was once a street kid, scrap metal seller, and even sold mitumba? And that he never had shoes to wear at some point in his life?
During his interview on Kiss FM’s breakfast show, Papa Dennis revealed to Adelle Onyango how life was hard after his parents passed away and how he was left to take care of his siblings, forcing him to do menial jobs to provide for his siblings and himself.
Papa Dennis narrated his touching story and how he made it to become one of the most popular artistes in Kenya. It’s hard to believe that he’s gone through the toughest time an orphan can go through.
Papa Dennis revealed that his parents passed away when he was very young when he was in Class 8, leaving behind three children. With no one to support or care for them, Denno had to turn to the streets.
Papa Dennis also reveals that he worked all sorts of low-end jobs to make ends meet, so that he could educate his siblings and put food on the table. After completing KCPE, Dennis was not able to join high school, something that saddened him, seeing his friends proceed with education.
After his primary education in 2006, he went to Kisumu, where he resorted to selling mitumba, and charcoal and even hawking plastic bottles and glasses, to doing construction work.
Later on, he would be discovered after deciding to engage in church activities in a talent search and now, under Maliza Umaskini music label, Papa Dennis is travelling to countries he never imagined and rubbing shoulders with the high and mighty, and some of Africa’s nusical bigwigs like Wizkid.
Listen to his emotional story below as he reveals the struggles he went through after his mother passed away. A truly inspiring story that defines “from rags to riches”.