It is a clear testimony that one can reform his life to become what they want to be. Daddy Owen was a street thug and today he is Kenya most celebrated gospel act. He has scooped so many awards that he has skipped others to give upcoming artists an opportunity to shine. Here are Kenyans who have transformed and are leading lights in various fields.
Daddy Owen: King of Kapungala
Before Kenya most accomplished gospel artist ventured into music he was a street thug. His brother, Rufftone, was by then churning some serious gospel hits. Daddy Owen decided to mend his way when he escaped death narrowly in the hands of a marauding mob baying for his blood. He had snatched a ladies bag but it wasn’t a good day as he was nabbed and beaten silly. Apparently his brother was passing by and was able to appeal to the mob to spare his life. The now Kenya number one gospel artist, also known as Papa Fololo is churning hits after hits and is an envy of his contemporaries.
He was a street urchin who was abandoned by the mother when he was still very young. His determination to succeed saw him hustle in the streets after short stints staying with his relatives who mistreated him. Alex Apoko has worked as a shoe shiner in Eldoret streets, according to a recent interview in the popular Churchil Live Show, before he took his chance to travel to Mombasa to look for greener pastures. His mission was to get a rich white lady at the beaches of Mombasa but instead he found God. Ringtone has amassed wealth beyond any average Kenyan can imagine through such hits as Pamela and Jubilation.
His real name is James Kang’ethe Kimani but he is popularly known as Bonoko de. His alias Bonoko originated from an interview he granted a local radio station on how a cop had shot a butcher. It was hilarious as it was laden with street lingo and before long DJ’s had started remixing his voice. Bonoko became an overnight sensation with ringtones picking the hue and using his voice. It was the famed Maji Maji, head of Ghetto Radio, who had confidence and gave him a chance. His life changed overnight and he is a big name courtesy of Ghetto Radio.
From Crime to Preacher: Pastor Stephen Gichui Mbugua
His life in crime had the most wanted tag put over his head by the police. Born and raised up in Korogocho, one of the largest slums in Kenya, Stephen popularly known as Pastor Steve took to crime to fend for himself and his family. He became a legend in the underworld thanks for his meticulous planning when it came to carrying successful crimes. Steve was even encouraged to ‘kill them’ by his family so as to bring more loot home. His epiphany came when he met Reverend Teresa Wairimu Kinyanjui of Faith Evangelical Ministry on his was to commit a robbery. He was prayed for and turned his life to Christ and currently runs Faith Rescue Network.
My life in Crime followed by other sequels including his wife account of their lives in crime makes for a must read. What is even more interesting is that John Kiriamiti was an actual criminal who managed to elude the police with much ease. The account with which he gives of his days as a criminal looks so surreal-a master story teller. He has reformed and his one of Kenya leading authors.