Mykie Tonii (second left, in white shirt) a former member of the now defunct Camp Mulla group. FILE PHOTOMykie Tonii (second left, in white shirt) a former member of the now defunct Camp Mulla group. FILE PHOTO
By NJOKI CHEGE

The name Michael Mutooni does not ring a bell to the average Kenyan. Even his moniker or stage name ‘Mykie Tonii’ is still not familiar to many Kenyans. So let me introduce you to Michael Mutooni.

Now, many of you reading this probably do not know about a band called ‘Camp Mulla’. Camp Mulla was a band, very vibrant and quite popular among young folk and produced a couple of club bangers.

I googled the members who include a bunch of young and incredibly talented musicians such as; Miss Karun, Kus Ma, Shappaman, Thee MC Africa and Mykie Tonii.

As is normal with many bands, they broke up. Each to their own path. By the way, for those of you who might not know, ‘moolah’ is slang for ‘money’.

So why did Mykie Tonii draw a lot of attention this past week?

TAXI GUY

Today, Mykie is an Uber driver. In lay language, Mykie is a taxi guy.

There is a fat chance that if you went to your phone now and if you had the Uber app, and if you asked for an Uber, Mykie would be the guy to pick you up from your location to your destination.

You are wondering where I am going with this. Mykie has become the butt of many jokes particularly in social media circles because some people think that he has ‘downgraded’ from being a 2012 BET-nominated band member to a what? A mere taxi guy.

They think that Mykie is failing in life, from a high-flying band member with thousands of fans, to the humble Uber guy in the car in front of you.

Mykie, a young, energetic man who was out there quietly minding and running his own business, found himself catapulted into the blogospheres complete with nonsensical, sardonic stories scorning his new job.

Mykie, a brilliant chap gifted with sharp business acumen (with musical knacks to match) and an impressive Uber portfolio (he has been ranked 4.8 out of 5- which is very good, by the way) was ridiculed on social media for what? For being an entrepreneur.

POTENTIAL IN UBER

Mykie, a tech-savvy, clever chap who saw the potential in Uber and grabbed it, was made fun of by bloggers who earn a paltry Sh500 for every poorly written story published in a blog that has refused to pick up.

Bloggers, who are paid Sh530 via M-Pesa (that’s Sh500 plus 30 ya kutoa) to push silly discussions on social media were mocking a young man running a legitimate business that possibly earns him an average of a cool Sh30,000 per week.

I am not done yet. Mykie who, after Camp Mullah broke off, could have chosen to ruminate in self-pity, instead rolled up his sleeves and got into the hustle, like a real man would.

Yet, in spite of his effort and determination to stay in the struggle, some people found it prudent to laugh and scorn at his hustle.

Why are we like this?

I tried to get in touch with Mykie but I couldn’t catch him. His former manager, a quite apathetic young lady, was not of much help either.

NO LONGER CASH COW

I guess in the entertainment business, once you are no longer a cash cow, they are done with you for good.

I checked him out on Twitter but the last time he tweeted was shortly before Christmas. I guess he was too busy making moolah over Christmas, ferrying his drunken, shisha-permeated agemates from one ‘happening’ club to the other.

If I had managed to get Mykie I would have told him this: “Dear Mike, congratulations on being brave enough to run your own ‘hustle’. You are a rare brave young man who, in spite of being a ‘celeb’, understood the value of working for your own money and you did not care what people would think.

“You were not afraid that people would recognise you as ‘that guy from that band’ and you got your hands dirty, doing the right thing. Now that you have been ‘outed’ and people think that they are embarrassing you for doing the right thing, I suggest that you chin up and keep going. Forget the blogs and losers on Social media who don’t even own a car. Remain numb to their mockeries and jeers.”

Mike, if you are reading this, I hope that you keep making that moolah and Uber yourself into millionaire-hood.