The multifaceted media personality Sanaipei Tande is no stranger to hitting rock bottom after she lost her job about six years ago.
The singer spoke in an interview with Bikozulu, revealing that her life changed drastically after Nation Media Group fired her. She recalled being shown the door on a certain September morning in 2015 after her 10am to 2pm show on Easy FM.
“So I get into the boardroom and you have the general manager there and you’ve got the chief accountant and you’ve got the HR manager…I was told, ‘here’s your letter here’s your cheque, don’t come tomorrow’… that’s how the job ended,” she narrated.
To eke a living, Sanaipei turned to hosting karaoke gigs at clubs in Nairobi where she would receive between Sh10,000 to Sh12,000 per night.
Not only did the job expose her to the dangers of Nairobi’s nightlife but Sanaipei also had to contend with delayed payments.
“When you go to ask for your money you’re told oh the boss didn’t leave any money. Or the boss left half the money or the boss said because the show was not good tonight, we have to work over the weekend for you to get your money. That was a trying time,” she admitted.
Sooner rather than later, the Karaoke gigs were not sustainable and Sanaipei could not afford the Sh50,000 rent that was due every month. It was then that she decided to move back in with her parents.
“In 2016 November I realized I had to move back home. This moment in time things had hit the fan and I needed support. I wasn’t embarrassed about what had happened, even if I had caused it, which I didn’t, but this was the situation…look you have no money to pay rent, what’s your option? go home,” the singer said.
Sanaipei said she still had to find a place to stay in the city because of her karaoke gigs. She settled for the Kenya Continental Hotel, (now Deja Vu).
“That was a tough time…I never imagined that I would be sleeping in a lodging and as you drive home, which was the lodging…you know…I used to park my car then I just break down because I used to ask myself, ‘how did I get here? how did I get to be sleeping in a lodging earning Sh10,000 shillings after insults and disrespect?’,” Sanaipei said.
Tande’s silver lining came sometime in 2017 when she was cast on the Swahili telenovela ‘Aziza’, created by Lulu Hassan and Rashid Abdalla.
“Getting the Aziza job was very random. Rashid Abdalla saw my song Ankula Huu. There’s a skit at the beginning of the video where I am plaiting someone’s hair and I’m talking about how my husband is a dead beat dad ni ni ni. They(Lulu and Rashid) saw that and they liked it and they were like ‘this girl can act’ … that’s how I got Aziza,” Sana said in another interview.
Since then, Sana has been doing much better and was able to rebuild her life.
“I was able to move back to the same apartment complex and continued building my house. I started building my house a long time ago but because of the karaoke hosting and you know, the nightlife, the money was just going to the wrong things. When I got serious in 2019, what I have done in my house between 2019 and now is more than I did in six years from when I started building it,” she narrated.
Sanaipei also landed acting gigs on ‘Kina’ and ‘Auntie Boss’ and was able to revive her music career.