Tanzania’s singer, songwriter, composer, Bad Nation boss and Amapiano finest Marioo is making waves with a brand new hit dubbed Shisha, featuring Tanzanian legend Mr. Nice.
Listen to Marioo – Shisha ft. Mr. Nice (Audio)
Who Really is Mr. Nice?
Lucas Mkenda, popularly known as Mr. Nice is one of the founders of Bongo Flava, a veteran Tanzanian singer who dominated East African music in the early 2000s.
He rose to fame in 1999 after releasing his debut album, Kidali Po, and towards the end of 2002, he released his second album dubbed Rafiki, while songs like Kikulacho, Fagilia Wote, and Kuku Kapanda Baikeli were among the mega hits in his career. He was famous for his Takeu ex-move.
On June, 2023, Mr Nice boasted that there is no artist in the current generation and even the next generation who can beat him in the sales records of his music, and the amount of money he collected from the distribution of his works.
The ‘Fagilia Bongo’ hitmaker was speaking in an interview with Clouds Fm, a local radio station in Tanzania, saying that at that time digital platforms for downloading, streaming, and distributing music did not exist but he did a man’s work in making mega tracks, a record that according to him ‘has not been broken even in the next century.’
Mr Nice said that at his peak, he distributed more than one million CD tapes and collected more than TZS 10 billion.
“No one can reach my record. If there is someone who can reach it, don’t come here and say it. But they know they can’t. I was selling CDs, I was not selling online. And if I was able to sell more than one million CDs; let alone Tapes, VHS. Those are CDs only. I made millions, a fortune that no artist can make right now,” Mr Nice said.
The artist went Papa Bear crazy after the paparazzi asked him about the amount of fortune he was able to make by the time he was top of the game.
Mr Nice felt upset citing that the paparazzi were disrespecting him, emphasizing that he made billions out of his music.
“Are you asking if it could reach one billion? Brother, let me ask another question.. I made more than 10 billion going forward there,” he added.
It’s like he regrets the life he went through. Could there be plans to be made by some of the currently talk-of-town artists to raise him up again musically? after falling back to square one, losing the fame and wealth he had several years ago.
Mr. Nice’s star just got rekindled again by the former WCB label artist and the Konde Gang boss, Rajabu Abdul ‘Harmonize’, by using him in the subject of the ups and downs of everyday human life. Harmonize featured Mr Nice is the video for ‘Sina’ as the main actor of the narrative of the story that describes the downfall in life and losing friends when someone runs broke.
When the video for ‘Sina’ was released, rumors had it that WCB label boss, Naseeb Abdul Juma ‘Diamond Platnumz’, was determined to bring Mr. Nice back in the game, who in his days was untouchable.
In his time, Mr Nice was a non-conformist. His style of music which he created and named Takeu, made him famous in the East African region. The money he earned made him proud. His expenditure was extravagance.
His music was selling above the charts. His performances were unparalleled. In some of the countries he visited, he was received as a king with young people marching in the streets to accompany him.
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There was a time when he went to Burundi, he was received at the Bujumbura airport by one of the country’s ministers while he was given a red carpet and his convoy was escorted by police cars. He is the only Tanzanian artist who was honored this much.
Mr Nice was also lucky enough to visit many European countries to perform. He was known in the United States, England, Germany, Sweden, Holland, Dubai, and South Africa.
However, it didn’t take long for his musical fame and wealth to suddenly disappear. To this day, he has no idea what happened.
Mr. Nice once admitted that he had money, all of which were in various accounts here in the country, but all of them disappeared suddenly without him knowing how they were used. Every time he remembers all that, bursts into tears.
It is due to his musical collapse that he decided to move his residence from Tanzania to Kenya, believing that things would improve there and hopefully he could regain his status musically. But that was not the case.
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He found himself facing many more misfortunes. There was a time when he had a car accident, all his companions in the car they were traveling in died, except for him.
Also, he was once accused of having AIDS, after being admitted to a hospital in Nairobi for more than a month. When he came out and told the truth about his health, people were speechless. To this day he dances in perfect health.
Mr. Nice was also beaten several times in entertainment venues, as was the case when he had an endless feud with the artist Dudu Baya. There was a time when it was revealed that those who beat him wanted to destroy his image, the case being that he was associated with someone’s wife.
Rumors had it that he once decided to become a bodaboda driver. He was also allegedly sleeping and staying up in bars as he had no place to sleep.
Does Mr. Nice regrets of who he’d become?
Despite all the tragedies in life, Mr. Nice says he has nothing to regret because there is nothing that he has never done back in his days.
“No matter what you do to me, I am who I am, nothing will change. There is nothing I can regret,” said Mr. Nice, when he was interviewed by a television station recently.
The artist said that he cannot explain how much money he had when he was famous in music because that is the secret of his life, he cannot give it anywhere or to anyone.