Popularly known in the music circles as Apesi, Stanley Otieno is one of the household names right now, drawing fans with his music that is described as New School benga. His wife-cum-manager Joan Jane Atieno describes this genre as a fusion of traditional and urban sound, giving an experience that can best be described as Trad-urban benga. Growing up, the 25-yearold Kisumu-based musician, wanted to become a lawyer, but life steered him towards a different direction.
Apesi was born and raised in Kisumu’s Obunga slums, as the first born in a family of five. His father Peter Malachi is a clerk at Odero and Advocates law firm and his mother Pamela Akinyi is a businesswoman. He attended Migosi Primary School in Kisumu where he sat his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education [KCPE] examinations in 2009, and later joined Eldorok Academy in Eldoret before transferring to Kisumu Day High School where he sat his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education [KCSE] exams in 2013.
He later joined Multimedia University in 2014 to study Film and Scriptwriting, but had to defer in 2015 due to financial difficulties, and since the music passion was already in him, he decided to immerse ., himself into the music industry.
Besides being a popular musician, Apesi is also a husband and a father to a daughter Anaia Sherry. As his wife shares, the two lovebirds met in 2019 while Apesi was still with the CBK band.
“I used to work at Kisumu Art House, an arts centre that deals with events. So, his band had a video shoot and they needed our services. I had to give him my number because he refused to leave without it, but I did not have any intentions of dating him let alone marrying him,” she says.
Jane adds that he went back after a week because she was not picking his calls. “To convince him to leave, I had to give him my charger with a promise of picking it up, I went for the charger and here we are,” she says.
The two have been married for two years now, and have been blessed with the beautiful 10-month-old Anaia. Jane reveals that being married to the music star has had its fair share of challenges. She has learnt to handle issues such as him coming home late at night because of the night shows and female fans looking for his attention. But one thing he always wins at is being the best dad to their baby.
“Being married to Apesi, the brand needs understanding and trust. But Apesi as a person is the best dad to Anaia and best husband. He is Anaia’s best friend and has been babysitting her since she was six months old,” she adds.
Jane remembers how on his last birthday last year, Anaia was sick and they rushed to the hospital in the night. Unfortunately, the doctors were not available and the baby was crying endlessly. Apesi was so overwhelmed that he broke down. “Anaia is Apesi’s heart. His social media says it all,” she shares.
Being a good dad and a supportive husband is not just a character he fell into when the baby arrived. The most cherished moments of parenthood for them were made during the pregnancy period. “He helped me exercise during my pregnancy. For me, that is totally priceless. He accompanied me to all the hospital appointments and he would still take me out to dates,” shares the benga star’s wife.
Her favourite thing about her husband is his dedication to his music career and family, and the fact that he is the most confident person she knows. He stays positive
through every situation and always focuses on his music no matter the fall backs that come ‘ along.
! “Unlike many artistes who live I controversial lives after getting a taste of fame, I have not ’ encountered many of these experiences with Apesi.
He is a positive person,” adds Jane.
She says that being his manager and spending a lot of time together can interfere with their personal life, but they have learnt to balance. When Apesi is not in the studio recording music or performing, he will either be watching movies or taking care of his daughter. He also helps in running their eatery in Kisumu, Apesi Chill Spot. His favourite meal is pork and ugali.
I had to give him my number because he refused to leave without it, but I did not
have any intentions of dating him let alone marrying him