Article by Salon Magazine.
A friend dared her to rap and she took up the challenge. It turned out to be a beneficial dare. She is now in the lime light and everybody wants a piece of her story. Her real names are Winnie Wambui Naisula Ole Siameto.
But very few people would recognize her by those names. A friend got her the name Chantelle because she felt the song and Winnie did not blend well. I agree. In fact, I think she should be called Chantelle Naisula. It gives a beautiful Identity.
So even in this story, she will remain Chantelle.
Born 21 years ago, Chantelle is a child of mixed race, with a father of both Maasai and Indian origins. She still wonders how her grandparents got along with each other given that Indians worship cows while the Maasai relish in eating them. She wishes they were alive to fill in this puzzle. Her mother was of the Gikuyu origin but passed on when she was only 11 years.
The only girl in the family of four boys, she had to mature early and at the same time harden up to keep pace with the testosterone levels in the house. She managed just fine and it is no wonder she prefers to rap than sing. But this is not what she always wanted to do.
One day she will accomplish her dream of becoming a T. V. presenter. She especially admired Sophie Ikenye who was a star news presenter when she was growing up. In her absence, Julie Gichuru and Lilian Muli-Kanene are the people she looks up to, and is sure she will one day do her thing like them. For now though, she is concentrating on her newly discovered talent, rapping.
The Birth of Tokelezea
“There was a party in my house and among the invited guests were Abbass, a famous rapper and my good friend. He dared me to sing but I told him all I can do is rap. He again dared me to do it. We sat at a corner and Abbass gave me a story from which I extracted some lyrics. We wrote the song that night and the following day we were in the studio recording. After a week the song was out and I was pleasantly impressed by my voice and the positive response the song got. It was playing all over and this confirmed that we came up with something beautiful. Tokelezea is basically a fun song and does not address anything in particular.
Working with Abbass who is like one of my brothers has been easy. He has taken me under his wings and mentored me to be the rapper I am becoming. We have collaborated on other songs and soon our Album will be out. It took us a while to shoot the Video because we wanted a perfect one.
Whereas many expected a club shoot, we went to Magadi in the Jungle. We gave the song a great twist and we are back on top of the charts.” Going by the comments left behind after the video was uploaded in the YouTube, a lot of people had been waiting for this video and as expected, they were surprised by the shoot location.
Produced by Sub Sahara records, the video is simple and the costumes outstanding. The incorporation of native Maasai
people and fire eaters gives it a distinct Kenyan identity. The mixing and colour coordination of the video is the genius work of Peter Clarence.
Growing up for Chantelle
Chantelle grew up in Limuru and her childhood memories are intact. She remembers being taken to brae joints by her brothers although she was the woman of the house. They dotted on her and protected her from any danger while encouraging her to be independent.
One of her brothers is a fitness freak and he would wake them up early for the morning jog. As such, she grew up aware of the value of physical exercise and although she was a tom boy in the early years, she has now blossomed into a beautiful lady. She schooled in Consolata for her secondary education and she is saving up to pay for her college education, while on the lookout for the best media school to enroll for her media studies.