Kellen Beatrice Kanze Dena is one of the most beautiful female celebrities in Kenya. However, you might not be aware that the Citizen Nipashe news anchor lost her first born baby after 3 months, got pregnant in college, lost her mother when soon after delivering her son Amani, had self-esteem issues and even contemplated suicide.
Today we take you through some of the key moments in Kanze Dena’s life that will absolutely be an inspiration to you and many young ladies out there who are going through the same challenges she went through.
But before we do that, you ought to know that Kanze Dena comes from a family of six kids; four sisters and one brother. She was raised up by a single mother, often going to school in Nairobi and spending her holidays in Mombasa.
SHE WAS PLAYFUL DURING HER CHILDHOOD DAYS
Kanze says she was more playful and cunning than her siblings, and at one moment she was banned by her mother from going outside of their house to play with other kids. However, she would sneak out through a gap in the bathroom window to go play with her friends. But one day the house help locked the window and she couldn’t find any other way to sneak back in other than the main entrance. Unfortunately her mother found her outside and questioned why she was outside especially after being warned against playing outside their compound. She was thoroughly beaten, something that made her tell her mother “I doubt if you’re my mum”. However, they later resolved their differences and her mother agreed to allow her travel to Mazeras, her shagz home, so that she could play with her friends there.
SHE LIKED PLAYING WITH BOYS
Some of the games Kanze played during her childhood include pushing tyres, pulling toy cars, climbing trees, bladaa and kode. She would play any game with the boys and didn’t notice any gender differences at the time.
WHEN SHE REALIZED SHE WAS DIFFERENT
She started experiencing body changes early in her life while in standard five and six. She noticed her breasts developed faster and her hips were broadened. This led men and boys to stare at her. She learnt that she was different, but according to her, different in a bad way. She also has slightly bowed legs and became too conscious with her development to realize that she walked differently from other girls. As a result, she started keeping to herself. She reduced her playtime with other kids as she wondered what was happening to her. According to her, men even laughed at her for how she looked and walked. She had to slouch to hide her developed breasts and would wear long clothes to hide her bowed legs. This is what marked the beginning of her struggles with self-esteem issues because she didn’t feel as beautiful as the other girls and that the other boys kept laughing at her.
HOW SHE DEALT WITH NEGATIVE ENERGY
Kanze would lock herself in a secluded room and read as a way of avoiding her fellow students. She too was a talented actor, and often used that as a distraction. During drama festivals she would act and recite poems so well that the others would applaud her. This became her temporary escape. Kanze says going on stage during such drama festivals allowed her to get away from the fact that everybody was laughing at her. Boys would later approach her because she was becoming a star, and they too respected her Swahili prowess and articulation. Unfortunately, drama festivals coming to an end meant going back to the same cocoon and realizing that she was different from other people. At standard seven she was appointed the school’s head girl and although she felt a bit important, she still didn’t want to be different. Kanze confesses that had there been an opportunity to enhance her looks and alter her body parts, she would have changed the way her legs looked.
HOW SHE OVERCAME LOW SELF-ESTEEM
It took her long before realizing that her physical developments and changes were as a result of biology, and that it wasn’t her fault. By the time she understood all that and come to terms with her body, she had already ruined her posture and up to now she stills slouch. However, Kanze says she’s more victorious now that she was then although she still faces criticism from people who still think she’s less than beautiful, most of whom are women.
ON CONTEMPLATING SUICIDE
Kanze Dena says low self-esteem pushed out to the brinks of committing suicide. She says she contemplated committing suicide at some point, but she now is in a better place as a result of self-acceptance.
HER FIRST BOYFRIEND AND BECOMING PREGNANT
While in high school students would receive letters and she would as well received letters from guys which boosted her self-esteem. But after high school no one was there to send her letters. She joined college and hot her first serious boyfriend. She became pregnant, but her daughter Natasha died three months later. This made her feel like a failure, especially while growing up at a period when pregnancy out of wedlock was viewed like a big sin. The death of her daughter took her through a period of depression, often viewing herself from other people’s perspectives who would see her as a girl who got pregnant, gave birth, lost her child and has nothing to show for all of that.
ON GETTING A SON AND LOSING A MOTHER
When Kanze got pregnant for the second time, the sad memories of her daughter’s death reoccurred to her. She was often buried in deep thoughts, often wondering if she would ever make a good mother and whether she’ll ever get married. She was also facing relationship issues with her baby daddy at the same time which made the period more turbulent for her. Just after delivering her son, Amani, her mother fell sick and was diagnosed with colon cancer. This meant she needed financial support but she was able to help her. Her mum passed away on August 8th, 2007 which came another big blow to her. Kanze says she wishes her mother was around to see her read news on TV today and make her proud for she sacrificed a lot to make her who she’s today.
ON GETTING AFFIRMATION THAT SHE’S A GREAT MOTHER
Kanze, like most mothers, often questions if she’s the best mom for her kid. However, her son often tells her she’s the best mother on earth. When her son wakes up he goes to her mother’s room and greets her while enquiring about her health. He then hugs her, and tells her he loves her. That has made her feel strengthened.
HAS SHE OVERCOME HER INSECURITIES?
Although people send compliments, Kanze still believes she isn’t beautiful because the damage had been done long ago. She had convinced herself that she isn’t as beautiful as other girls. She says she doesn’t have the legs of other beautiful girls and her slouching posture isn’t what beautiful girls have. She says she’s not the ultimate beauty, but appreciates that people [perceive her to be beautiful.
Despite her confession, Kanze Dena is one of the most beautiful ladies to have ever graced our local TV screens. She deserves to be a role model to many ladies who are going through tough times similar to what she went through.