Confessions of a city gangster who once earned millions but today has nothing – PHOTOS
At the age of 10, Elias Hiti Mwaganu dropped out of school in Standard Two “due to an urge to be rebellious”.
Incensed by his action, his father gave him an ultimatum: he could continue living at home only if he went back to school. Mwaganu wanted nothing more to do with school so he left home. “I went to Thika Town, where I became an urchin. I got a job in a backstreet eatery, earning Sh5 a month,” he says.
One day a customer with a bicycle ordered chapati and beans, which cost Sh25. “He gave me Sh500 to settle his bill. I told him we didn’t have any loose money and suggested that he lend me his bicycle to go and get change from a nearby beer depot,” Mwaganu recalls.
He disappeared with the cash and the bicycle and moved to Free Area just outside Nakuru Town.
“I resumed my street life and within a month, I was in Kisii Town. I bumped into an aunt who took me in. She called home and was told about my rebellious ways, including how I had stolen from my employer and a customer. She called the police…” he says.
But luck was on his side. There was no police transport to take him to Thika where he had committed the crime, so after two weeks in custody, he was released.
His mother went for him in Kisii, but all efforts to get him back to school failed.
Then, in December 1995, Mwaganu met a teenager from his Gitiri Village in Murang’a County who had come visiting.
“He told me that real men don’t live in the village, that he could take me to Nairobi and introduce me to employers. He told me real men make money, have many wives, drink alcohol and eat lots of roasted meat. I was immediately interested,” he recalls.
That is how, at the age of 13, he found himself living in Umoja Estate in Nairobi, with five gangsters.
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