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Stella Wangu Returns to Kenya

Each year on May 17, the #Stella is always trending on Kenyan social media platforms, but do you know the story behind Stella Wangu? Freshley Mwamburi, a popular old-time musician, is the source of this religiously celebrated song in the country.


On May 17, 1992, Freshley Mwamburi travelled to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to welcome back his love, Stella, who had spent the last three years in Japan pursuing her studies to become a doctor. 

Owing to his unwavering love for Stella, Freshley sold all his property to finance her accommodation throughout her stay in Japan. On the day of her arrival, Freshley was accompanied by his family and relatives to the airport to welcome her.

Stella’s arrival shocked Freshley after she disembarked from the plane holding a child and her four-foot-tall Japanese husband by her side. Freshley was heartbroken and what hurt the most was how much time and money he invested in Stella. Talk about waiting in vain.

This unfortunate incident ironically inspired Freshley to become famous by narrating his ordeal in the form of music — the food of love as Shakespeare had it — on the ordeal he had experienced.

A sad experience for Freshley has now turned into a day of comedic relief and celebration for Kenyans. The topic of whether women are trustworthy springs up in conversations and banter when the song is played to those who are familiar with the story, especially on this day.

One netizen on X shared her sentiments on the song, saying that money could not win love and that Stella becoming a doctor thanks to Freshley’s sacrifice wouldn’t be enough to make her love him the same way he did.

Another lady wittingly asked whether there were any more guys like Freshly out there to help a ”Stella” like her.

Does Stella reflect every woman in society? Though debatable, for me the answer is a resounding no. Every woman and human being is unique so just don’t fall head over heels with a “Stella”.


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