From Hawking Mtumba to Making Millions From Music:  Biography of Jacob Obunga alias (Otile Brown).

Otile Brown stands as a prominent figure in Kenya’s music scene, reigning as a Swahili RnB sensation for the past seven years, marking his dominance through 2024. Known affectionately as the “songbird” by Kenyans, his journey to success is a tale of resilience amidst adversity, often overlooked by many.

Family Background:

Jacob Obunga, as he was born, hailed from Kisumu, Nyanza region, in 1988. His upbringing shifted to Mikindani, Mombasa, where he navigated through his formative years. However, tragedy struck early as he lost his parents at the tender age of 14, leaving him in the care of his siblings.


While attending primary school in Mikindani, Otile Brown’s path through education faced hurdles due to financial constraints. Upon completing his secondary education, the necessity to provide for himself led him to forego further schooling, supported only by his late grandmother, unable to facilitate his educational pursuits.

Singing Career:

Embarking on his musical journey at a youthful 15, Otile Brown encountered the arduous reality of the industry. In the landscape of 2014, radio airplay held sway over an artist’s fate, a challenge he confronted with tenacity. Despite initial setbacks, he sought to seize opportunities, even journeying to Nairobi in pursuit of recognition, albeit without immediate success.

The Hustle in Nairobi:

Nairobi became both a crucible and a canvas for Otile Brown’s aspirations. Determined to carve his path, he embraced hustling with resilience, refusing to return to Mombasa in defeat. Selling second-hand goods, particularly “Camera mtumbas” at the Kenya National Theatre, provided him with a precarious livelihood. Yet, amidst the struggle, he never abandoned his musical aspirations, seizing every chance to perform at the theatre, nurturing his craft.

From Hawking Mtumba to Making Millions from Music:

The pivotal moment arrived when fate intersected with opportunity. Through a fortuitous encounter with Jalang’o, a door to transformation swung open. Jalang’o’s intervention connected him with Dr. Eddie of Dreamland Music Production, catalyzing Otile’s breakthrough. “Alivyonipenda,” featuring Kingkaka, marked the turning point, igniting widespread acclaim and charting a trajectory towards stardom.

His collaboration with Dreamland Production birthed a string of hits, bolstering his reputation and demand as a performer. Notable tracks like “Mapenzi Hisia,” “Wembe” featuring Timmy Tdat, and “Imaginary Love” featuring Khaligraph Jones underscored his artistic prowess, solidifying his status as a top-tier artist in Kenya.

The Vera Sidika Era:

In 2018, Otile Brown’s romantic involvement with Vera Sidika propelled him into a heightened realm of fame. Leveraging her celebrity status, his social media presence burgeoned, unlocking lucrative deals and escalating his music video views into the millions. Though the relationship eventually ended, its impact on his career trajectory was indelible.

Lavish Lifestyle and Continued Success:

Post-Vera, Otile Brown’s ascent to prosperity remained unabated. From 2019 onwards, his rate card soared, commanding substantial fees for performances both domestically and abroad. Embracing opulence, he acquired luxurious accommodations and prestigious automobiles, epitomizing his newfound affluence.

Collaborations with industry heavyweights such as Alikiba, Jux, and Harmonize expanded his reach, further cementing his reputation. Singles like “Chaguo la Moyo” featuring Sanaipei Tande and “Dusuma” featuring Meddy resonated with audiences, contributing to his enduring popularity.

As of 2024, Otile Brown continues to reign supreme in Kenya’s music scene, enjoying an enviable lifestyle and a flourishing career. With a catalogue of hits, multimillion-view videos, and lucrative endorsements, he stands as a testament to the power of perseverance and talent in the face of adversity.