Third Eye

My sis stepped into our mum’s shoes after she left for Europe

Wednesday, September 7th, 2022 01:03 | By
Simon Mkala and his sister Regy B, an artiste. PD/Jasmine Atieno

In a sea flooded with prominent male hip-hop figures who have sustained longevity in an ever-changing business, women in hip-hop who have attained this accomplishment are few and far in between.  

This lack of representation of women in the industry has become a circular conversation. While talking about this disparity within the industry, Mombasa based rapper Regy B intimates that things are even harder on the ground. 

“The biggest challenge for emerging female artistes is getting a good management team. I think Coast region people only support those who they think are best of the best, and sadly men make that cut, unlike in Nairobi where all artists get so much support. But as a female artist from this region, I will keep standing strong to make Coastal hip-hop go worldwide,” says Regy B.

And true to her words, Regy B is currently splashing the waves with her latest club banger, Hawa  Pendi. 

Regy B, born Regina Nyambura started her music journey when she was 15 years old, but only got her breakthrough in 2021. The young female rapper has collaborated with some top artists from the region including Masauti Kenyan Boy. Her music is inspired by her everyday struggles and those of the people around her.

Young caregiver

As her younger brother Simon Mkala based in Abu Dhabi shares, there is so much that people don’t know about the artist, including the fact she had to help parent her two younger siblings. 

“We grew up in Mtwapa. We are four siblings, Regy being the first born, followed by my twin Davis Mkala and I. Our last born Tobias stays with our mum in Switzerland. Our mum started working in Europe when we were young. My twin, Davis, who currently works in Dubai and I were only nine years old and Regina was 12. So, we were left under the care of our aunt, my mother’s sister, while our mother heavily supported her. She would come to see us every year. When my brother and I joined secondary school, my sister   took over as our caregiver until we completed our secondary education. We were 15 years by then and she was 19,” shares Simon

Regy B attended her primary school education at Furaha Junior Girls, Mombasa where she sat her Kenya Certificate of Primary School Education in 2005 then joined Mtwapa Elite High School, where she completed her secondary education in 2009. It is while in secondary school that her music journey officially began. 

“Back in primary school, she used to showcase different talents. She was good in short distance running, but the most consistent was singing and dancing. When she started to chase her singing dream, we never thought she could beat the odds because of financial issues,” shares the rapper’s younger brother.

Proving relatives wrong

 Despite the financial challenges that she was facing and the doubts from even her closest family members, she did not stop chasing after her dreams. She remained consistent with music.

“I must admit that at first, we all doubted her efforts. We didn’t think she would go far and believed it was a try and win or lose situation, but she remained consistent. I remember the first time she went to studio and worked on her first song Wamewasha, that’s when it hit us that this was really happening. Her first intro was amazing and we had to give her support. Things looked promising…and today she has done so much including my favourite song Wamewasha Moto, my other favourites include; Nakuja Nai, Pigo featuring Masauti and Kiwashe. One great aspect of her music is that people relate to it and it’s a positive vibe in our community where we grew up,” he says. 

As an elder sister who had to step into her mother’s shoes, she is good at so many things including her leadership and social skills. But top on the list of things that keep her going, her brother believes that her strongest drive is her passion for hip-hop. 

Hobbies and interests

“Playing the parent’s role was a big responsibility, but she turned out to be the best. She was like a mother to me and my twin brother. I wouldn’t, however, say, she was strict on us. We would go on family retreats, which were a great opportunity to bond. She also invited us to her video shoot and parties,” he narrates.

He adds, “Away from the family, she is a social person — she can fit in any community. She likes to cook, dance and she also likes to help other people. She is hot tempered, but she won’t be angered for a long period, she calms down really fast. What I came to learn is how delicate she can be, especially if you don’t clear issues with her. When she asks you a question, she expects you to answer honestly.”

Simon shares how his sister is also fun loving. She is the kind of person who brings good vibes whenever she is around. She likes to be real. Her good taste and choice of clothings inspired the musician to start a clothing business in Mtwapa.

“She loves fashion, she also has excellent taste. In fact, our home town people know her as Malkia wa Miondoko (Queen of swag) This is why she decided to start buying and selling clothes and other accessories,” shares Simon who works as a customer care service executive in Abu Dhabi.  

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