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I was getting Sh91,000 per week! Nyashinski speaks on living in Delaware

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When the family of Nyamari Ongegu popularly known as Nyashinski got a chance to relocate to Delaware USA, the then 21-year-old was excited despite being very aware that he was cutting short his career.

The 30-something part guy-next-door, part human dynamo shares with Judith Mukiri Mwobobia the path that led him back home…

“It was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. Growing up with that attention from my music may have stunted me somewhat. I was happy to leave Kenya. I had started getting tired of keeping up with the momentum of releasing good music. Plus the allure of the US we saw in movies was enticing.”

But was it all that he had hoped for? I ask.

“Well, no one knew me there, and I loved that. It was like falling off a cliff, the anonymity was refreshing. Then the excitement of discovering a new place was all consuming to worry about what I had left behind.”

The plan, according to his parents, was for him, their last child, to go back to school. But the young man wasn’t too keen.

“I didn’t want to waste my dad’s money on school fees and student loans because I knew that it wasn’t for me. Now in America, I just wanted to look for work and start making money.”

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And so started the job search. Luckily a Kenyan resident got him one delivering ‘proofs’ to banks. Proofs are basically slips that show proof of a transaction. He would pick up bags from the hub and drive around collecting the slips from institutions before delivering them to the banks.

“Many Kenyans do that job over there. I was getting Sh91,044 (900 dollars) per week. It was a full day’s job. I lived with a little dog and the money sustained me just fine, though the living expenses were higher there than here.”

Nyashinski

Nyashinski [Photo: Courtesy]

The long lonely road

Always looking for better opportunities, his brother-in-law who lived in Dallas at the time, called him and told him that there was more money and great benefits to be made in the trucking business. And so he looked up the application process and found that it meant going back to school on a short truck-driving course.

“I called up my father and told him about it. That I needed about 5000 dollars for the course. Dad was shocked, to say the least. “You want to drive trucks? After refusing to go back to university?” But he relented and he went looking for the money because he didn’t have it. We aren’t very rich, but he finally managed to get the money and I enrolled for the driving course for three months.”

After the training, he was given a truck to run.

“At times, I would be so tense and hold onto the steering wheel for dear life, and my trainer would ask me to relax, and I finally mastered it.”

Nyashinski [Photo: Courtesy]

At this point, he shows me a picture of a big white truck.  The kind he would drive across states hauling containers and later other trucks.

“I had started wearing out. The job runs you down. And it is a lonely existence because you are on the road for weeks on end. Just you, the truck and the long road ahead. Relationships breakdown, your health suffers too. I knew many older drivers whose marriages had broken down due to the work. Also, I know I worried my parents a lot. They didn’t know where I was sleeping, they were scared of me getting an accident, which thankfully, through the years, I didn’t. Not even a speeding ticket,”

No co-driver to keep you company? I prod.

“No, the insurance covers only you but you can go on the road with your dog or your wife for company.”

Nyashinski

Nyashinski [Photo: Courtesy]

Eventually, Nyashinski and his brother-in-law bought a truck of their own, and the hustle went on.

Finding lost love

Even as the years went by, something continually pricked his conscience.

“I thought about coming back home real hard. I knew that music was my talent and at the end of the day, I would have to answer to God if I didn’t use it. So again, I went back to my parents and told them that it was time I went home. They wanted to know if I knew what I was doing. I wanted their blessings.”

And blessings he got. But there was the little money issue. He would need to support himself before his music took off.

“I had savings but I didn’t want to run through my savings to make music. So I kept my income separate from my savings, using what I was making and not my savings. And I moved back into our old home in Nairobi West.”

Nyashinski

Nyashinski [Photo: Courtesy]

That was in 2016. Back home after 10 years, it was time to remind Kenyans that he still had it.

By SDE

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Rich men the target of violent robberies in fake online love affairs

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On November 28 last year, American Philipe Chiliade landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to meet his gay lovers whom he had fallen in love with after a brief encounter on Facebook.

Chiliade was chauffeured out of the airport in a cab and taken to a single room in Pipeline estate in Nairobi, where his life would turn into misery, in the hands of the purported lovers.

He was extensively tortured and robbed of everything by men who had promised romance but left him nursing serious injuries while slowly accepting the reality that he had lost everything to lust.

He was rescued by members of the public who intercepted a car he was being driven in back to the JKIA – where he was to be dumped.

The man driving the car – Fredrick Mutua – was handed over to officers at Embakasi Police Station.

Joseph Ndunda | Nation Media Group

During interrogation by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Mutua claimed he had been invited by his cousins to cook for ‘friend’, Chiliade, as they attended to some other matters to attend to. He further claimed that he had travelled from Kithyoko in Machakos County to do the errand for a fee.

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Detectives believed him after they established that Chiliade had been hoodwinked to travel to Nairobi from South Africa and had not communicated to Mutua prior to the incident. They were seemingly wrong.

Mutua was part of the four-man gang. His three accomplices had escaped with Chiliade’s money believed to be more Sh2 million, his travel documents and other personal belongings.

Joseph Ndunda | Nation Media Group

Chiliade had left his husband after he was hoodwinked by his newfound lovers, unaware that their intention was to rob him.

On December 2, 2019, Inspector Anderson Miriti of Embakasi DCI offices presented Mutua at Makadara Law Courts seeking orders to hold him for a week to assist police trace his cousins.

Mr Miriti told Senior Principal Magistrate Stephen Jalang’o that investigators were gathering evidence from JKIA and Kithyoko where the suspects were believed to have taken the loot, and Mutua would be a prosecution witness.

Catherine Mumbi Kivuva, a suspect in one of the cases.

Joseph Ndunda | Nation Media Group

Mutua was freed thereafter as DCI continued to pursue his three cousins wanted for the crime.

Things went silent until Sunday, October 11, this year when Mutua was arrested in Ruaka, where he was caught red-handed while torturing and robbing Turkish national Bubak Amrullah.

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Police say Amrullah had been lured into the house by Mutua’s female accomplice, Catherine Mumbi Kivuva, when he (Mutua) and his cousins Bernard Mbunga and Kelvin Nzioki descended on him.

Fredrick Mutiso at Makadara law courts on December 2 last year.

Joseph Ndunda | Nation Media Group

The DCI detectives from Lang’ata were trailing Mutua and his accomplices in connection with a robbery in Imara Daima, Nairobi, where an Asian businessman was robbed after he went to meet his online lover who invited him to her house for sex.

The businessman had gone to Mutua’s cousin Mary Mukii Kioko’s house when he was attacked.

Online dating

Ms Kioko, an actress with a production outfit in Machakos, was charged with violently robbing the victim of Sh453,000 jointly with others while armed with a knife on September 22 in Lang’ata.

Deelano Kiilu.

Joseph Ndunda | Nation Media Group

Her cousins, Mr Mutua, Mr Mbunga and Mr Nzioki are all in custody at the Nyayo police station while Ms Kioko is awaiting bail and bond application ruling after Chief Magistrate Abdul Lorot of Kibera Law Courts asked for her social inquiry report before setting the terms.

The four suspects in police custody had escaped DCI’s dragnet in Imara Daima in Embakasi on October 3, where their cousins Ms Kioko and Mr Mutua’s brother Gideon Mbusu were arrested.

Lang’ata police commander Gregory Mutiso said police have identified the online dating-related robbery as a new trend in crime involving criminals who are luring men on the internet.

Mr Mutiso said the gangs are targeting wealthy men who have families and reputations at stake. These cases increased after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic with many people forced to stay and work indoors.

Mr Mutiso said the biggest challenge in bring the culprits to book is the reluctance of the victims to come forward and report after they have been robbed.

For example, the Asian victim allegedly robbed by Ms Kioko and her accomplices claimed he was abducted in Nairobi West although he met the suspects on Mombasa Road.

“We have seen reluctance among some men who don’t want to report because some of them are family men and being exposed. We have a challenge because others don’t even want the cases to proceed. I know many have been robbed but don’t want to come out because for fear of being embarrassed,” Mr Mutiso said.

“In one case, a complainant, who was robbed nearly half a million, has completely declined to record a statement. Even if you take the suspect to court, they will eventually be acquitted.

Some of the items recovered from Catherine Kivuva’s house, according to detectives.

Joseph Ndunda | Nation Media Group

“I am warning men to be careful. If you are seeking a relationship, date a person that you can see and not online because you don’t know the person you are chatting with. These men are using pictures of beautiful and curvy women to lure you and very few (men) can resist,” he added.

Mr Mutiso is appealing to men who have been robbed in this manner to forward and report to the police.

He says an identification parade will be conducted to pick out the culprits, then cases will be referred to the police jurisdictions where the crimes happened.

The police boss said detectives are ready to help all men who have been robbed in the same way and promised confidentiality.

These criminals not only target foreigners.

A 38-year-old woman who lured her online lover, before four men, including one claiming to be her husband, stormed the house and joined her in allegedly robbing him, was charged with robbery with violence before the Makadara Law Courts on June 24.

Eunice Wambui was charged with robbing Dennis Ntabo of his phone worth Sh23,000, an ATM card, a chain worth Sh1,500 and Sh5,000 in Kahawa West in Nairobi on May 18.

She was also accused of transferring Sh15,946 from Ntabo’s M-Pesa account.

Mr Ntabo, 32, was delivering electronics to a client and decided to contact Ms Wambui – his then Facebook girlfriend – to quarantine in her house because he could not beat the then 7pm curfew deadline.

Ms Wambui took him to her house and, a few minutes later, four men stormed the house and tortured him the whole night.

Joseph Ndunda | Nation Media Group

Protection and Safety Association of Kenya (PROSAK) Secretary-General Deelano Kiilu said the incidents, which are spiking in the country, are a result of the Covid-19 pandemic because people have been forced to stay at home and remain online.

As such, Kiiu explains, men on the internet begin to live in the universe surrounded by galaxies of online activities.

This, combined with psychological pressure and loneliness, especially for single men, Kiilu says, has presented a great opportunity for criminals easily lure their victims into their traps.

Honey traps

“What we are seeing is a trend called the honey trap. A man will stumble on a picture or a video of a very beautiful ‘woman’ online who he will then be tempted to reach out to and to chat with. She will seem very open and willing to talk to him and will slowly entice him into a relationship on the internet,” Kiilu says.

“When a man believes he is going to get value out of that relationship, he is then lured into a trap of physical entanglement with this ‘woman’. But that occurs at either the ‘woman’s’ home or in a secluded location where he can be taken advantage of by ‘her’ collaborators in the activity.”

Mr Kiilu said the women are aware that psychologically men are attracted to beauty so the women are using that allure to draw the man into the honey trap.

The worst scenarios that have been perpetrated are men posing as women online to entice a man into an entanglement.

But when the man reaches the destination, he finds men waiting for him. They will pounce on him, blackmail, torture and even rob him as in the recent cases.

Mr Kiilu said people create personas on various online dating portals.

Sometimes, Mr Kiilu said, the traps can be laid on an innocent Facebook page, Instagram or Snapchat and other dating sites like Tinder and Grindr.

A victim then finds himself lured into an online conversation. The scammers are usually reluctant to have a telephone conversation but are willing to have a lot of online chatting, say all the right things and lure a man, Mr Kiilu said.

“When they use this honey trap to lure a man to get to the particular location, the game is over. He is robbed of what he has and abandoned. In a lot of the cases we have seen, since the victims fear embarrassment, they don’t report to the police. They decide to leave and live very quietly,” Mr Kiilu said.

“In one incident that happened in Ngumo estate, a man woke up and found himself naked in a bed in his hotel room. The hotel management told him that he came in with some women and paid for everything. Apperently, the man woke up three days later without a single cent and his bank accounts cleaned. His ATM cards had been used to wipe clean his banlk accounts.”

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Ruth Matete welcomes bouncing baby girl 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Gospel singer Ruth Matete has finally welcomed a bouncing baby girl, Toluwa, months after her husband’s demise.

Sources have intimated that the Tusker Project Fame (TPF) winner went into about earlier in the week before her due date and delivered through Caesarian Section (CS)

Taking to Instagram, the singer acknowledged the warm wishes sent by fans and friends stating that her bundle of joy had arrived.

“I have not ignored your kind and warm messages of congratulations. Thank you so much glory to God! Ni mimi wenyu, Mchungaji Ruth Matete, ukipenda mama Toluwa, ukipenda Madam big belle,” she wrote.

Last month, the singer opened up on dealing with grief months after her husband died due to sustained injuries from a gas accident at home.

Through an Instagram post, the singer narrated that grief was not an easy thing to deal with as some days are completely hard.

She further indicated that she sometimes gets conflicted about taking too long mourning about her late husband while at the same time she thinks she is being hard on herself.

“Truth is some days are very hard. When death knocks at your door, there’s nothing you can do.

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“Some days, voices in my head tell me am taking too long in this mourning phase. But I have made up my mind not to be hard on myself,” she wrote.

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Sonko gives City tenants six months waiver on rent

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has extended rent waiver for tenants residing in City County Government houses for six more months citing COVID-19 financial challenges.

In a statement, Sonko accused officers of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) of harassing vulnerable city residents over rent arrears despite the current economic crisis occasioned by the pandemic.

“My attention has been drawn to the outcry of a majority of tenants occupying residential houses belonging to the Nairobi City County Government, following persistent harassment by officers from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) over rent arrears

“I do hereby extend the waiver earlier granted for a period of a further six (6) months from the date of this letter, as our residents continue to recover economically from the effects the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sonko said.

The Governor’s move is expected to trigger a standoff with the Major General Mohamed Badi-led Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) and tenants

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