Award-winning gospel musician Linet Munyali, better known as Size 8, is a woman who is not shy of talking about her childhood struggles.
In an exclusive interview with Citizen Digital, the Mateke hit-maker revealed that the hustle was real back in her teenage days. Life was so hard for her family back then that she was forced by circumstances to do things which she says she is not proud of today.
Size 8 told about how she and her elder sister stole and slaughtered a neighbour’s chicken when hunger pangs proved unbearable.
“I was born and raised in Maringo, Eastlands Estate. As a family, we were so poor that we lacked enough food. So on this particular day, my sister and I stole the neighbour’s chicken – hunger was too much!” tells the singer.
Just how did the two girls go about stealing a chicken?
“My elder sister devised a trap which worked very well. We strategically laid a trail of maize grains which led all the way into our house. The neighbour’s chicken fed on the cereals until it got into the house. We immediately pounced on it, slaughtered, boiled and fed on the chicken. Hiyo siku hatukuwa hata na mafuta ya kukaranga,” narrated Size 8.
“We later washed the utensils thoroughly, put the chicken’s feathers inside a polythene bag, wrapped it and threw it away. We had to get rid of the evidence,” she added amidst laughter.
Lack of food was not the only challenge Size 8’s family faced; poverty made them live in a house without basic utilities: “We also did not have water and electricity – even the KPLC officers came and took away the electricity metre. To survive, we stole the resources from our neighbours.”
Growing up as a girl has its challenges, more so when one clocks puberty and the monthly menstrual cycle hits. It is at that period one gets to need sanitary towels.
For Size 8, her humble background did not make the transition into womanhood any easier.
“I used to hustle sanitary towels. Actually Citizen TV’s Jacque Maribe used to help me with pads back in secondary school,” she opened up.
“We studied at State House Girls High School. I left in form three to join Hillcrest on scholarship, but all through she has been my friend. I have known her for 14 years now,” reminisced the singer.
Jacque Maribe confirmed to Citizen Digital Size 8’s confession saying, “We are very close. She was my roommate from the day we got into State House Girls. We clicked, so when I’d shop for sanitary towels, I’d shop for two.”
From their first day at State House girls, their camaraderie between the two successful personalities has grown over the years.
“Our friendship grew – over our holidays to drama club and eventually when we both got called to transfer to Hillcrest. We are older now, but remain friends still.”
State House Girls High School is perceived as an institution for the the elite and the rich – how did little known Size 8 from Maringo blend in?
“Back then State House Girls haikuwa na mabarbie vile, though the rich walinishtua sana! However, when I got scholarship to attend Hillcrest, I have to admit – I suffered a culture shock of my life! I was flabbergasted – students came from very affluent families!” She said, adding: “Wanafunzi walikuwa wanaletwa mpaka na chopper na saa hizo mimi ni mtoto wa Maringo… Then they spoke in deep English accents, you can just imagine!”
Despite the challenges, Size 8 picked something positive out of the ‘barbie’ schooling. She said: “It is the place I built my confidence – God ni Mso! That is why I work so hard so that I don’t go back to that kind of life.”
So with her fame and fortune, has she met her goals?
“There are a lot of things I have not accomplished. I usually write the things down and set timelines; the day I would achieve each, I will let you know,” promised the heavily expectant singer.
“However, I have one which I have accomplished – starting up a daycare and a kindergarten. It is called God’s Gift Daycare and Kindergarten in Buruburu Phase 1, Mukondo Court; House number 244. There’s another which I will launch before I put to bed,” she said.