I miss Starehe MP Jaguar: Tanzanian singer Lulu Diva

Jaguar and Lulu Diva.
  • Currently on a media tour in Kenya for her song ‘Mapopo’, Tanzania’s Lulu Diva opens about her relationship with Starehe MP Charles Kanyi aka Jaguar.
  • She also speaks on her love for older Kenyan men and why she won’t do a song with Willy Paul.

Dressed in an oversize luminous green jumper to keep away the Nairobi cold, she looks like a doll. She is petite. She looks at home in this Kilimani apartment,

 “I miss Mheshimiwa,” she says of Starehe MP Jaguar with a cheeky smile. “The streets miss Jaguar’s music, but we have to accept the reality.”

At one point, the Kigeugeu singer was Lulu’s manager here in Kenya. They still see each other and rumour has had it that they were an item.

“He is an easy person to deal with. He understands me. He supports me and since he has been in the game for long, he has the connections. Lakini yeye kwa sasa mdosi (but now he is a boss)!” she says.

Currently in the middle of a diplomatic spat between Kenya and Tanzania over utterances in regards to foreigners working in Kenya, Lulu explains that what Jaguar said was factual, and that it’s only some people who failed to understand the MP’s intention.

“He is speaking for his people. He wants his people to have the priority that is being given to others. In fact, that’s the true work of a politician,” she says.

“It happens everywhere, even in Tanzania. We don’t like it when foreigners come to take opportunities that are ours. Even (Paul) Makonda (Dar Es Salaam’s Regional Commissioner) is like that,” she adds.

There have been rumours that Jaguar and Lulu were an item, before Lulu got engaged, dumped and then hooked up with Bongo rapper Madee. She is now searching.

“Right now, I am on the lookout for a Kenyan man. And not just any man, but older, more experienced and one whom I won’t bump into in the clubs,” she says, matter-of-factly.

“Kenyan men are generally hardworking, smart and sharp when it comes to business. But I want an older man because I am still in my foolish years and want to do much more foolishness. An older man who has seen it all will understand and we won’t be competing,” she says, adding that she empathises with Ringtone, who has been ‘looking for a wife.’

Lulu Diva.

The former beauty pageant, socialite and now a recording artiste, Lulu puts efforts in her brand, employing about seven people in her team. Though passionate about music, she openly states that it’s a means to an end.

“I have to eat and live well. Muziki ndio biashara (music in my business). I do music that is in demand by the fans. I have written many songs on emotions, but those won’t get me shows in the current market,” she says.

Lulu is just the latest artiste from Bongo to come to Kenya for a media tour after a host of others, including notable ones like Diamond and Nandy. Tanzanian artistes seem to have been fully embraced by the Kenyan market, disregarding the flickering on-then-off  #PlayKeMusic debate that has lingered around town.

“I’ll say this, there was a time the likes of Amani, Jaguar and Kleptomaniax were the biggest artistes in East Africa, bigger than our own artistes. We learnt from them and we have invested in our brands. Kenyan artistes need to do the same, and emulate the likes of Sauti Sol, Willy Paul, Khaligraph and Nyashinski, who are played all the time in Tanzania,” she notes.

In fact, Lulu is getting collaborations with Kenyan artistes.

“I’ve done a project with Khaligraph. We are in the process of discussing how to go about the video. I want to work with Avril, Gabu and my friend Vivian,” she says, elaborating that with Vivian, it was a matter of when, and not if.

Willy Paul?

“No. No reason by the way. I just don’t have to…”

She is set to drop an album later this year, and is quick to point out that she will do another launch in Nairobi.

“I love Nairobi,” the former waitress says, fiddling with her hair.