Bongo Flava artiste Diamond Platinumz is arguably the most sought after musician in the entire East African region, estimated to be worth Sh64 million largely credited to his shows and voluminous sale of his music videos.
The stakes are much higher now for musicians than they were 5 years ago, and artistes have had to continuously re-invent themselves in order to stay relevant, something that Naseeb Abdul aka Diamond of the 2009 Kamwambie song fame seems to have mastered.
Through a ‘lethal’ combination of excessive talent and a killer marketing strategy, Diamond has managed to amass the kind of wealth that some East African artistes can only dream of.
NOT WITHOUT CONTROVERSY
However, the decorated Bongo Flava artiste has had his fair share of controversies.
Many say the best three words that can define Rais wa Wasafi who performed at Carnivore last weekend are a ‘Hit maker’, ‘Heartbreaker’ and ‘Moneymaker’.
FROM CASUAL LABOURER TO BONGO STAR
Looking at him now, one would be hard-pressed to believe that he once earned a paltry Sh150 a day working as a casual labourer in Dar es Salaam.
He started off as a rapper, entering numerous talent search competitions but failed to make a mark.
According to him, rapping would “get him all the girls”.
It was not until one of his brothers told him the painful truth: that he was not a talented rapper, that he decided to try a different music genre; singing. This was the beginning of his success.
At just 19 years of age in 2009, Diamond made his breakthrough into the music scene with his debut song Kamwambie. He has never looked back since.
Diamond net worth is estimated to be over Sh60 million (Tsh1.2 billion) putting him up in the league of Lady Jay D and Jose Chameleon.
The singer has invested his fortune heavily into real estate and owns several rental houses, clothing line and fashion boutiques, huge tracks of land, vehicles and is currently said to be putting up a 4-star hotel.
The ever charming musician is also a huge fan of tech toys spotting apple laptops, tablets, iPhones and on any single day he rolls with for mobile phones that receive more than hundred calls each.
Diamond has got huge endorsement deals with giant soft drink company Coca Cola and mobile phone service provider Vodacom Tanzania.
Four years later, the Number One hit maker has recorded more than 133 songs, which explains why he never misses two to four shows a week.
While performing in Tanzania, Diamond charges a fee in the region of Sh350,000 per show and when invited outside his country, he settles for not less than 25,000 US dollars (Ksh2.1 million).
Two years ago, he gave a thrilling performance in Kigali, Rwanda something that saw him take home up to 100,000 US dollars (Ksh8.5 million).
In 2012 after performing during the Big Brother Africa competition in South Africa at a time he was riding high with another hit ‘Mbagala’, he announced a fee that he would be charging for any artiste who wished to do a collabo with him.
“From this moment any musician who would wish to do a collabo with me will have to part with a fee of Tsh5.2 million (Ksh265,000) for an audio recording and twice the sum for a video. I have chosen to do so because I have been involved in so many projects of various musicians and end up getting nothing. If the pioneers of the industry charged for collabos why can’t I do the same?” he posted on his Facebook account.
SONGS INSPIRED BY EX-GIRLFRIENDS
Most of his projects are love songs inspired by true story of ladies who broke his heart or the ones he too tore apart.
Hit single Mawazo is a song that he composed for his ex-girlfriend; the beautiful and gorgeous bongo movie actress Jacqueline Wolper.
Kamwambie and Mbagala were emotional songs inspired and dedicated to another ex-girlfriend identified as Sarah, who dumped him to hook up with a sugar daddy because at the time, Diamond was so poor.
Ukimwona which was another hit, was a dedication to his current on and off girlfriend, actress and former Miss Tanzania Wema Sepetu, the first time they broke up.
The musician has also had affairs with Penny Mungilwa, a TV presenter who is said to be expecting a baby rumoured to be Diamond’s.