Kenya’s top Hip Hop artiste Octopizzo aka Namba Nane is one of Kenya’s leading and celebrated rappers of all times having grown and risen from one the renown Kibera aka “Chocolate City” as he refers it.
Things You Didn’t Know About Octopizzo aka Namba Nane || Biography
Many know him as Octopizzo aka Namba Nane but his real name is Henry Onyango Ohanga.Octopizzo has taken his name from his favourite animal, the octopus, one of the strongest inhabitants of the ocean even feared by sharks and whales. In addition, the number 8 or namba nane in Swahili, became his trademark and symbol. The 8th letter of the alphabet is ‘H’ which stands for both, Hip-Hop and his given name Henry. It also refers to the matatu minibus line from central Nairobi to Kibera. With eight being the number of districts in Nairobi as well as the number of provinces in Kenya, Octopizzo stands for all three Kibera, Nairobi and Kenya.
Octopizzo is a dad to his lovely daughter Tracy whom he loves dearly. Despite his busy schedule he always finds time to spend with her and pick her from school. Also he is a husband to one lovely wife. According to him, he works hard for his family: his wife, daughter and his three brothers.
Octopizzo is the founder of Young, Gifted, and Black (Y.G.B ) youth Group, consisting of collectively talented rappers, poets, graffiti artists, graphic artists, and dancers.
Octopizzo is a business man too owning his own clothing line that includes watches, wrist bands and handmade “Kibera-Bling”.
Moreover, Octopizzo is the CEO of his own slum tour called Chocolate City Tours, since the it started in 2009 ,who objective is to give people the chance who have never visited a slum to meet people from Kibera, to see how hard they work and support them by buying products from them.
Also Octopizzo has launched his own brand of condoms called “Let’s do it” with a special edition “In the dark” condoms that glow in the dark to ensure safe sex for bedrooms without electricity.
Octopizzo started rapping in 2009, producing mixtapes recording Swahili rhymes on top of well-known beats by international stars such as Dr. Dre and 50 Cent. Fortunately, When 50Cent visited Kibera, Octopizzo was asked to show him around, which was a lifetime experience for Octopizzo, who says talking to him revealed a very grounded and humble guy unlike what most people would imagine him to be like. Octopizzo‘s breakthrough came in 2012 when his song “Ivo Ivo” became a rap anthem in Nairobi. ”Ivo Ivo” is short for “Hivyo Hivyo” which simply means “It’s like that, it’s like that”. But some people interpreted it as “evil evil”. Rumours spread in Kenya that Octopizzo was a member of the Illuminati society, and the surrounding media attention boosted the success of the song even further. Most of his music is produced in Italy by a producer called Franco. He however works with three producers for a single track before releasing it. Currently ‘Chocolate City’ is the name of Octopizzo‘s international debut album and also the name Octopizzo uses for Kibera. Again he doesn’t mean luxurious swiss chocolates. Chocolate refers to the mud and the rusty iron sheets in Kibera, the place where his inspiration lies to this day.
Octopizzo has a partnership with Film Aid International to help refugees at the Kakuma Refugee Camp. He is helping them build an art centre to enable the refugees to tell their stories through film where the refugees will be trained to do short films and then allowed to make stories of their own.
Octopizzo is a hip hop artist from Kibera, the one the largest slum in Africa. Octopizzo mother died when he was just 15, and he had to take care of himself and his three brothers. Octopizzo is usually nostalgic when he talks about his old neighbourhood Kibera, just a few kilometres from the centre of Kenya’s capital Nairobi. Growing up in Kibera, one of the biggest slums in Africa, was a challenge especially its worth noting in 2008 when post-election violence turned Kibera into a battlefield, by then 20-year-old Henry Ohanga was mainly hiding at home, sleeping in fear, only walking the streets armed with a machete for self defence. According to him, it was during those days you’d never know who was your friend or your enemy. At this time Octopizzo was making a living working nightshifts as a security guard for shops and malls often earning nothing more than 50 Shillings and a cup of coffee. Thanks to his hard work and determination, Octopizzo has made it and he is now among the top rap artists in Kenya. Unlike most others who become rich and deny they are from the ghetto. Octopizzo speaks to his fans every day on Twitter and Facebook. Many of them are still from the slums. He has respect and feels responsible for them. For him anyone can make it. That’s why he’s fed up with people complaining that they will never leave the ghetto without even trying. Even politicians consult him when they want to know what the people think