We all don’t like cops but when it comes to Samidoh, this soft-spoken cop is affable and he disarms you with his charm. A brilliant smile and a sure voice are the most notable characteristics when he is not belting out one of his popular tunes.
The Kikuyu benga musician’s story is one of sheer determination driven by the pain of poverty and loss of loved ones. Samuel Muchoki Ndirangu is the man behind such hits as Ndiri na Mutwe Mwega, Niwe Ndarathimiirwo, Kairitu Gakwa, Tuhii Twitu, Ihoya Ria Samidoh which he has performed not only in the country but in Sudan, Qatar, Bahrain, Dubai and the United Kingdom under the moniker Samidoh.
In three years since he launched his own career, Samidoh has had a taste of the jet-set life a far cry from his humble beginnings. “I didn’t ever think I could board a plane. I was so nervous that I didn’t even go to the toilet in my first flight to Dubai which was 5 hours long. I was worried I could open the wrong things and probably open the back of the plane,” says Samidoh.
On his success, Samidoh says that it has not been easy having fought his way all the way up the entertainment- and generally the life- ladder. The Police Constable under the National Police Service says his background reads like a continuous sob story. He says he had to get out of the misery.
“My father died when I was very young and we were forced out of the property where the extended family was. My mother bought land in Oljororok using the pension money she was given after my father’s death. We were five boys and I had to drop out of school in class seven.”
“I became a herder and since I could not fully understand what was happening with the extended family. Everyone had taken something from what my dad owned and we were left helpless. I used to earn Sh300 per month. I was a herder for two terms which was 6 months.”
A Good Samaritan who heard of Samidoh’s plight found the musician a school where he could continue with his educátion.
“My mum’s friend took me in after she heard of my plight. She was from Subukia, Kirengero and she asked that I go stay with her so I could continue with my studies. I was admitted at the Kieni Primary where I started again,” said Samidoh in an interview with Betty Kyalo.
Having grown up with all the challenges, Samidoh lost his mother while he was in form one when his life took another turn.
He and his four brothers continued with life but the moment that would change Samidoh’s life through music came through his elder brother who was a drummer in another popular musician Kamande wa Kioi’s music band.
This was soon after form four when Samidoh left the village for Nairobi where he joined his elder brother. He became one of the band members for the legendary Kikuyu artist. He lost this opportunity and headed for the village where he hoped to get a job in one of the flower farms.
Thereafter, Samidoh studied BBIT at the then Kenya Polytechnic (now Technical University of Kenya).
Samidoh’s Wife, Family
To get into the police service, his story is as interesting. “After college, life became hard and I took my papers to the area DC. But before I could see him, it was a struggle. I went to see him three times and when he finally saw me, he asked me if I could run and I told him I could. During the police recruitment exercise, I was position 2 and that’s how I joined the force.”
Samidoh was first posted to Dadaab before being moved to his current posting.
The musician is a father of two Michael and Shirleen. He is married to the very soft-spoken Edith.
About their love life, the two say they are high school sweethearts. Samidoh says that Edith was transferred to the high school he was in joining form three while he was in his fourth form.
They struck a friendship and now the story is told of two people whose paths crossed and then boom! “We had not planned to get married but with this, I’ve never had an ex,” says Samidoh with a big smile on his face.
His wife says he is a loving and caring man who is an entertainer on and off the screen. The two have been together since high school and having come from the trenches, the couple is just trying to make a home.
The 29-year-old musician hit the headlines with the ‘Wendo Wi Cama’ hit which could be the first HD video by a Kikuyu benga artist. With massive airplay on local media, the song has become one of the biggest hitting the same popularity levels as those enjoyed by the likes of the late John DeMatthew.