Kenyan dancehall act Shavey De King dies - Kenyan artist Shavey De King of the dancehall group Shavey and Slice died on Monday night in the Tushauriane area in Kayole, Nairobi.
He was run over by a privately owned minibus for which he worked for as a part-time conductor.
According to eyewitness reports, Shavey was crushed under the minibus after he missed a step as he was trying to get back into the vehicle after dropping off passengers. He was rushed to St Patrick’s Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Born Elisha Kyalo, Shavey got into the music industry in 2003 and found fame with fellow musician Slice for the song ‘Gyal’ which was released in 2009 by the Ulopa Ngoma record label. It was popular not only in Kenya but also in Jamaica. The success of the song saw the duo perform in Uganda, Rwanda and Zimbabwe the same year.
The group’s fame was cut short in 2013 after they parted ways with their manager and record label due to financial issues over royalties earned from ‘Gyal’. Subsequently, the duo split and Shavey became a notorious alcoholic in the Kayole slum.
In 2014, a drunk Shavey was arrested for breaking into a butchery but was later released after paying $18 (Ksh 1 800) for damages. The same year he was interviewed by QTV where he publicly accused Ulopa Ngoma for allegedly pocketing the groups’ royalty payments worth $8 000 (Ksh 8m).
Kenyan music producer and director Patrick Og’engo, popularly known as Sapat, who knew the artist since 2010 told Music In Africa that Shavey De King had a unique voice that made the group the best dancehall duo in Kenya at the time.
“I met him through a hip hop group called Duxx M.O.B.O,” Og’engo said. “They had done a song called ‘Zoom Hio Volume’, which I directed and that’s how we became friends. The last time we spoke which was in 2016, he talked about making a comeback with an album.”
Sapat said Shavey De King continued to record music even after leaving Ulopa Ngoma. But the politics in the music industry could have contributed to his unpopularity.
Since news broke of his death, social media has been flooded with tributes from fans and players in the music industry. The Twitter account of reggae-dancehall singer Shalixx said: “#ripshavey of #shaveyandslice why is the music system this way? The man died because of a frustrated life after being a broke superstar. He made #gyalhitsong back in the days but the group didn't get any cash from the song. Anyways musicians be careful while signing deals.”
Musician Mr-Bloom tweeted: “Now see how people will flood your wall. Those who were close to you but did not support you (even though they had the capability to). My people, appreciate and support someone akiwa hai (when alive) do not wait till they die to make headlines.”