Basi mkaribisheni! Basi mkaribisheni! Basi mkaribisheni! King Kaka needs no introduction to any Kenyan youth. Apart from his striking bars and flowery poetry in his hit songs, he is an entrepreneur, a brand ambassador, a philanthropist, and a mentor. Well, this is because he has crafted a strong personal brand, which has propelled him to fame and fortune.
Personal branding is all about establishing yourself and your career as a strong brand that others can associate with and look up to, for inspiration. King Kaka is a strong brand in his own right but apart from his success in music, he has gone ahead to establish Kaka Empire, a brand which manages himself and many other artists.
Kaka Empire has grown from just being a music production house to becoming a fully fledged artiste-management company, with big names under it, such as Timmy Tdat, Avril, Femi One, Owago Onyiro, and King Kaka himself, among others.
According to King Kaka, Kaka Empire was always his dream from a young age and he designed the logo before he even completed his education. After high school, King Kaka went ahead to pursue his passion for music. As a talented poet, he found it easy to establish himself as a lyricist and that was how he ended up being signed up to Sneed Music, a record label owned by music producer, DJ Loop.
Under the mentorship of DJ Loop, King Kaka’s mastery of poetic music, spoken word, and musical storytelling grew in leaps and bounds. His brand has especially been embraced by those in the ghettos, where he grew up, as his music highlights their struggles and triumphs. King Kaka’s music mainly touches on social issues and uses catchy lyrics and punchy lines (mistarillionaire) to capture the attention and hearts of his audience. Moreover, he uses Swahili and Sheng, which appeal to Kenya’s urban youth, making him wildly popular with this market segment.
To strengthen his brand and fulfil his childhood dream, King Kaka established Kaka Empire. Under this business, King Kaka seemingly rebranded and established himself as the person he is today, with his trademark branded clothing or sharp suits. He has since shed off his ghetto look and branded himself as a young person who has moved from the bowels of Nairobi’s ghetto to the wealthier side of Nairobi, an inspiration for millions of his young followers growing up in the ghettos and everywhere else in the country and beyond. His main aim in life is to inspire young people to dream for better, as is clearly outlined in his hit song, Koth biro.
King Kaka is passionate about helping others and he has severally been quoted saying that this is why he works with upcoming artistes and gives them a launching pad to promote themselves using his brand, Kaka Empire.
To further strengthen his brand, King Kaka releases labelled clothes for each song he releases, for his millions of fans who like to be associated with his brand.
He is also into philanthropy and he has been involved in various initiatives designed to help young people, especially in Nairobi’s ghettos. Some of the notable charitable initiatives that he has been involved in include Dreams Campaign, which he worked on, in collaboration with Musa Otieno, the former captain of Kenya’s national football team. He also launched a youth initiative dubbed Tubonge, which is a platform used by young people to share their views. Through this initiative, King Kaka has been recognized by UNDOC and the organization named him UNDOC Youth Initiative East African Ambassador. King Kaka has also worked with UNICEF to create awareness about the lives of millions of children living in the arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya.
Through his music and business acuity, King Kaka has been a mentor for many young people and in 2016, he was signed up by Safaricom to be a mentor in the BLAZE BYOB series, which holds shows and mentorship programs in different parts of the country.
King Kaka has definitely built a strong personal brand and by extension, a strong corporate brand, Kaka Empire. It is now home to different talented artistes and has become one of the most recognizable brands in Kenya’s music industry and beyond. His key to success has been consistency, building a strong online presence, an ability to connect with his primary audience, a clear message which is discernible across different avenues, and keen branding.
Through a strong personal brand, King Kaka has truly established himself as Mr 254.