Gospel singer Ringtone, born Alex Apoko, claims he is worth over Ksh800 million in liquid cash and assets. eDaily could not independently verify his claim.
In a Wednesday interview on Citizen Extra Trends and Entertainment show, Ringtone claimed he acquired his fortunes from sales of his musical work, hotel business, and bidding for government tenders.
When pressed to reveal the estimated amount of money he pays as tax to the Kenya Revenue Administration (KRA) yearly, Ringtone was at pains to do so, saying: “That is a story for another day”.
The question on Ringtone’s wealth stemmed from his January, 2018 revelation, in which he said he had budgeted Ksh200 million for a pre-owned helicopter. Many online users found it difficult to believe that he had such a colossal amount of money.
The Tenda Wema hit-maker says his wealth has been amassed over a period of 12 years, beginning 2006, when he released his first hit song Gospel Inabamba. The singer says he plunged proceeds gotten from selling his musical work into business, which has since yielded over Ksh800 million for him in assets and finances.
“Currently, I own businesses in the hospitality industry; I bid for tenders… Basically, I am a young, rich entrepreneur,” he said.
‘I’M IN FINAL STAGES OF ACQUIRING KSH200M COPTER’
And about the chopper, which he said he’d acquire, Ringtone says: “I am in the process of finishing a certain deal, which the person who owes me money has paid a little for; and once that deal goes through fully, I will buy the chopper.”
And to those skeptical about his finances, Ringtone says: “I made my first national hit called ‘Gospel Inabamba’ in 2006; I have been in the game long enough to be worth what I am worth today.”
He claims he borrowed Ksh7, 000 from a friend in 2006, and used the money to drive around secondary schools, selling his music, which were in compact discs then.
“In a span of two months, I had made Ksh1.8 million. I, thereafter, invested the money in other businesses, which have yielded the money I currently have. My net worth is approximately twice that of Diamond Platnumz (Ksh405 million),” he said.
Diamond Platnumz in August, 2016 told E!TV that he was worth Ksh405 million then.
And how much collective tax does Ringtone, via his businesses, remit to KRA annually? The gospel singer says: “My empire is not tagged around me. If it is a business, it’s an entity on its own. How much do I pay as taxes to the KRA every year? That is a story for another day.”
LOVE FOR ZARI
Ringtone also opened up about his latest sensational claim of wanting to take over from Diamond Platnumz as Zari Hassan’s lover. Diamond, a father of two children with Zari, was dumped by the Ugandan socialite on February 14.
“To be honest, Zari is beautiful; she is entrepreneurial and she is from our region – the East African community. I have been looking for Zari’s phone number. I want her to be my friend. And above all, if God decides that she will become my wife, why not? I am single, I am successful, I am blessed, I am tall, dark and handsome; that is what’s up,” said Ringtone.
Despite Zari saying she left Diamond because the singer was philandering, Ringtone was quoted by a Kenyan weekly entertainment newspaper pull-out saying that Zari left Diamond because the Tanzanian crooner could no longer finance her expensive lifestyle.
Ringtone denies. “I did not say that Diamond Platnumz is financially unable to take care of Zari; those were words forced on me by a journalist, who wanted her story to be juicy,” said.
Ringtone was also quoted as saying that he has built a home in Karen, and that he is waiting for Zari and her children to occupy it.
“I have many homes. I used to live in Karen, but I started having problems with traffic jams; so I moved to Runda; it is not show-off; when you’re blessed, you are blessed. It is just normal. Yes, the now-vacant Karen home will house Zari and her children.”
But despite making all these arrangements, the singer, ironically, has never reached out to Zari to express his interest in her. Why?
“I have not reached out to Zari Hassan, but given she comes from East Africa, and the story made headlines in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, she, now, must be aware of my interest in her. I am humbly asking her to consider this man right here, who is God-fearing, handsome, knows how to smile, and won’t give her any trouble,” said Ringtone, adding: “When I look at Zari, I think she can make a good Mama wa kanisa.”
Another picture showing Ringtone taking a look at a herd of cows surfaced online recently, with the singer saying that the cows would be part of Zari’s bride price, should she accept to marry him.
“The cows are in one of my pieces of land in Karen. My Ugandan fans remind me that Ivan Ssemwanga paid 100 cows for Zari, and that I should up my game; I am willing to equal or surpass Ivan’s bride price.”
But Zari Hassan, in a recent interview on the BBC, said she is not ready to – soon – date another man after splitting from Diamond, thereby, putting a stopper to Ringtone’s interest in her.
What does Ringtone think about that? “In life we have plans and expectations; we can say: ‘At this time, I would do this’, but you end up doing the opposite. I understand what Zari has been through; moving from one relationship to another, and the new union doesn’t work, it must be really difficult for her. Her third relationship should work out, if she chooses me for a partner, I am sure it shall work out,” he said.