Stella Mwangi a.k.a STL and Philip Boit have one thing in common-they are KENYAN HEROS! They are dreamers, who have the zeal and determination to live their dreams. Boit confesses that he is Stella’s big fan hence he did create time to meet her in Norway while Stella says Boit is one of her greatest role model. They have challenged my life and influenced me in a positive way.
Having relocated together with her Kenyan parents when she was 5, Stella is a Norwegian in all aspects, she has lived in Norway for 20 years now. It’s almost a month since STL won the Melodi Grand Prix, MGP in Oslo, Norway and I have thought my story on Stella is way overdue, probably it is, but I have had my personal reasons for being so silent on writing about Stella Mwangi.
I will tell you for sure, Stella’s win is one that has received numerous feedback and reviews of all sort, both positive and negative. At times I think about her and wonder if she reads all the comments posted about her and if she does, how do they affect her? What about the racism comments which have seen some of the influential people in Norway come forth to make a public apology to her?
The above song received a huge airplay in Kenya in 2008 and most people remember STL for this song. “I will not be surprised if Stella won this year’s MGP. The Norwegian media seems to love her so much, she has been gracing all the entertainment arena, be it on radio, TV and even the print media since she won the semi finals,” said a Norwegian friend, the night before her win.
Stella is a popular name and has remained worth a news item in most mediums in Norway, especially the week before and after she won the finals. The MGP finals were one event that I waited anxiously and followed all the details as they unfolded. It was one colourful show, had all the glamour, pomp and great sound system, started on time and the participants did not disappoint. Stella Mwangi walked in, full of zeal and with a lot of confidence that she required on this day, and guess she stood out because of her skin colour and her afro hairstyle. The crowd cheered her and waved posters with her name an indication, she had fans in the house.
She Represents Norway
It was all competitive and at one point it was very hard to predict the winner. However, the ambiance told it all, and the petit, beautiful girl seemed sure of what awaited her. A big task was on her way, to represent Norway in the Eurovision Contest in Dusseldorf, Germany in May. Haba Haba, a sing-along English song with Swahili chorus was going to win her a lifetime title.
“The song is a dedication to my grandmother, since I was young I had big dreams, others made fun of me, but not my grandmother. She told me it is the little things in life that will make me happy, encouraged me not to give up but to on keep moving” said Stella in one of the interviews.
The participants and the audience waited patiently, Stella shed tears as the votes were submitted and when the final vote came, her tears rolled, it was unbelievable. That was just but a start of the drama ahead, she had to go back to the stage to perform while the audience went wild, fans and the media were all gathered to get an interview with her. She speaks fluent Norwegian and why lie, she impresses me.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94-nFnYpEoM- The announcement of Stella as the winner.
I was happy because she had actually lived her dreams. As a former radio presenter in Kenya, I have played and listened STL’s songs and one that came into mind was “ The dreamer– I am back with a bigger cake, I need a bigger plate……. in life I do not wanna drawn, I wanna elevate…….. I want to touch the sky and fly………I don’t wana wake up, I feel this is more than life, when I see it is more than life, they call me such a dreamer.”
Most of her songs have been inspirational, a sure encouragement that all is possible, dream big and follow your ambitions in life. Come to think of it, even in her wildest dreams, originating from Kenya with an African background, could she ever imagine being considered worth representing Norway, a European country?
One headline by Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, NRK: struck me, ´Norway Loves Stella- Norway has voted and sends Haba Haba to Eurovision final.´ What else will you call it, if it is not love? Critics have been there, however one thing is for sure that Norwegians voted and their vote said- STELLA.
Last Saturday, as I listened to one radio station in the afternoon, I realize that Haba Haba has become what we would call in Kenya – National Anthem, it played after every two hours. And by the way, this is one song you should watch, I found it really hilarious.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXb6scF3Vww&feature=related- Haha Haba goes Waka Waka.
A Kenyan obsessed with Barak Obama´s win said, “Obama won the American presidency simply because he has a Kenyan blood” a comment that I believe has some truth. It is a fact that these two Kenyans, STL and Boit have become very popular in Norway and so is Kenya, which takes me back to my earlier comment on Philip’s story – Kenyans will always get an ‘A’ for initiative, I am therefore, absolutely proud to be a Kenyan.
With Philip Boit having met Stella in Oslo, he had a piece of advice to Stella ahead of her performance in the International Eurovision final in Dusseldorf in May.
You must think “I will win. Believe in yourself, even when others around you are even bigger, more popular than you. Think positively, if you think so, you will do it, then go there-you must have faith that you will actually win,” remarked Boit. ( NKR online edition)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7k9vOc_B9w&feature=related- MGP 2011 Finale (Haba Haba song)
Remember, Haba Haba Hujaza Kibaba!!