Popular rapper CMB Prezzo in an interview released on Tuesday, June 16, disclosed little known details of his stint as a youth leader in the outlawed Mungiki sect.
Speaking on the web series The Play House, Prezzo recounted how he rose to become one of the most sought after acts in Kenya, with numerous hits under his belt before he fell into depression.
Prezzo disclosed that he fell deep into depression in 2012 after separating from his ex-wife, and used to stay indoors all day before receiving a phone call from one of former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga’s associates.
The caller informed Prezzo that Njenga wanted to meet him at his home in Karen, without revealing what was to be discussed.
Prezzo explained that he was worried after receiving the call due to Njenga’s reputation, but his bodyguard convinced him to attend the meeting.
At the Karen meeting, Njenga who was getting into politics pitched his vision to Prezzo who then accepted to become a youth leader for the Mungiki.
“My bodyguard was like let’s go, how are you going to win if you don’t play. I told him, for that, I was going to add his salary.
“Maina Njenga had this movement, and he needed me to be the youth leader of the Mungikis. He wanted me to be the youth leader of the Mungikis, and who am I to say no?” Prezzo revealed.
Prezzo disclosed that Njenga began assigning him various responsibilities including organising press conferences.
At the time, Njenga was opposed to President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto’s run in the 2013 General Elections.
Alongside his then-lawyer Paul Muite, Njenga accused Uhuru of rallying around tribal formations as opposed to national unity.
They organised a protest in Limuru against the duo, a protest in which Prezzo was among those teargassed by police.
“When we got to Limuru, the cops knew that we were pulling up. They were ready for us. When we got out of the car they blasted us with teargas.
“I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy, because you feel like there are pins and needles in your pupil,” he recalled, noting that Njenga was arrested.
On the same day, Prezzo was among those who attended a press conference alongside Muite condemning police for the action taken against Njenga.
He continued working with Njenga, while still battling depression until he one day received a phone call after praying to God to show him direction.
The call saw Prezzo invited to become Kenya’s representative in the Big Brother Africa (BBA) reality TV competition in South Africa.
Prezzo put up an impressive performance and finished as the Runners Up, securing other rewards including cash and an opportunity to be the ONE Campaign Ambassador.
His work with the ONE campaign saw him travel around the world campaigning against malnutrition in Africa.
At one point, he even met Jay Z whom he identifies as one of his biggest musical influences. Prezzo eventually bounced back from the depression as he pursued other ventures.
He expects to run for the Kibra parliamentary seat in 2022, having been endorsed by the Kalonzo Musyoka-led Wiper Democratic Movement after the death of former MP Ken Okoth in 2019.
Prezzo previously revealed that he agreed with Kalonzo not to take part in the by-election that followed but to instead focus on capturing the seat in 2022