Marakwet Daughter: ‘Mali Safi Chito’ Hitmaker’s Inspiring Journey From Class 8 Dropout To Overnight Sensation

Marakwet Daughter, also known as Millicent Jerotich, has gained widespread recognition following the immense popularity of her viral hit song, “Mali Safi Chito.”

Although this marked a turning point in her musical career, it was not her initial foray into the industry. To her surprise, the song went beyond all expectations and became a sensation on social media.

In an exclusive interview with Citizen Digital, Jerotich shared the challenges she faced as a struggling artist, recounting periods of financial hardship that left her without food for weeks. She highlighted the role of well-wishers who supported her in recording the song that changed her life.

Her journey, as recounted by herself, begins with early struggles in Marakwet County. Raised by her stepmother amid economic hardships, she faced challenges throughout her education, culminating in completing only up to class 8.

Married at the age of 16, Jerotich continued to navigate hardships into adulthood, experiencing a troubled marriage that led to divorce at 21, with a child in tow. Despite these difficulties, her musical talent shone through at a young age, as she led praise and worship in church and participated in various events.

Transitioning from secular to gospel music in 2018, Jerotich faced a period of stagnation in her career, with fellow artists and fans losing faith in her. However, fueled by faith and determination, she persevered through the darkest times.

Her recent hit, “Mali Safi Chito,” is an ode of admiration using the Kalenjin word “Chito,” which means “someone.” Originally written between January and February 2021, Jerotich’s plan to release the song in November was hindered by financial constraints.

A stroke of luck came when a generous well-wisher gifted her sh 2,500 at a friend’s burial, allowing her to approach her producer, who agreed to record the song at half the usual cost. Posting the song on YouTube and sharing it with her contacts, the unexpected success began with a TikTok challenge initiated by a friend.

Despite financial limitations, the overwhelming popularity of the song demanded a music video. Jerotich found a videographer who believed in her talent, and they shot the video in Kamarein Forest after facing challenges with expensive hotel venues.

The gamble paid off, and within three weeks, the video amassed 1.5 million views, making it the first Kalenjin song to achieve such a milestone in history.

The unexpected stardom brought new opportunities for Jerotich, including invitations to perform at various events. She now awaits YouTube’s decision on financial compensation for the substantial views garnered by “Mali Safi Chito.”