Former Churchill Show comedian Gilbert Barasa popularly known as Mtumishi has opened up about his past criminal life. Speaking during a TV interview, the outspoken comedian stated that he was recruited into a criminal gang when he dropped out of high school over lack of fees.
“They said I either had to join the gang or die. We started carjacking vehicles in Nairobi. We would be given intelligence about certain cars or targets and we would execute the orders,” he revealed.
Narrating on how he got caught up in the criminal lifestyle, the comedian, who married in a colorful wedding in 2015, revealed that he was drawn into crime after noticing one of his friends who resided in Kawangware always had the latest gadgets and trendy clothes. The friend took Barasa to his house and as they were talking a gang joined them. They explained that since he had been exposed to their plans, he had to join the gang.
“We used to party and travel but kept looking over our shoulders. I used to charter flights to Mombasa and entertain women with the money,” he added. Opening up on the experience, Barasa vividly narrated how on one particular day, they mistook the number plates of the target car they had been given and pounced on flying squad officers by mistake.
“The group that was on the side noticed the police and took off leaving very few of us. The police came out and overpowered us. They beat us mercilessly with electric cables and intimidated us with their guns. I thought I was going to die and I said my last prayer,” the comedian narrated. The gang was taken to the police station and interrogated. The police officers then let them go with a warning that the next time they crossed paths they would be shot dead. After that incident, Mtumishi said he swore to change his life.
Touching on other incidents in his past life, he explained that money obtained from crime did not improve his life - revealing that he would get huge amounts of money including one heist where he was paid Ksh2 million. “When I quit crime, I went to Mombasa to reflect on my life. When I came back to Nairobi, I only had Ksh 200 in my pocket. I hitched a ride on a lorry all the way home,” the comedian recalled.
He started rebuilding his life by working at a construction site and later became a security guard. In July this year, Mtumishi and his stage counterpart Mchungaji, claimed the recent cases of fellow comedians falling into depression was as a result of leading a fake lifestyle. The two comedians, who rose to fame through the Churchill Show, revealed that societal pressure had pushed some of their colleagues to live beyond their means.