She is loved and loathed by many. To some, she is Kenya’s version of agent 007, British spy film character James Bond. To others, she is a fake version of the Kenyan TV series, Cobra Squad.
Jane Mugo, a secretive private detective, was on the receiving end yet again this week, after being trolled by netcitizens following her interview with BBC investigative segment, Africa Eye. Many criticised Mugo’s skills, fitness and knowledge.
The no-nonsense detectetive, who, as a child, wanted to be a nun, came out guns blazing and told Spice FM, she has no time for haters and those criticising her are idlers and criminals.
“Idlers, haters who have never appeared on a local radio station or their village limelight, they cannot show us what they have done in their village. They are struggling to put food on the table, yet jealous souls,” said Mugo, adding that she has succeed in a field dominated by men, and she should be celebrated for that.
“Nobody is speaking about my training or my range. I pray you stay longer to witness my blessing. While the world is congratulating me for winning in a male dominated job, there is some cheap desperate bloggers vomiting hatred looking for cheap publicity,” she added.
Speaking to BBC, Mugo, who was married to a top police officer before falling out over cheating allegations, said: “I am the best in the world. In Africa and Kenya, Nobody can beat me.”
Mugo revealed she once tracked her ex-husband’s whereabouts and discovered he was a cheater by installing a bug in his shoes.
At one point in the BBC segment, she is shown exhibiting her prowess in tae kwon do but she fails at it. Many say a top investigator ought to be fit, in the least.
Detectives, spies or private investigators prefer to keep a low-profile life, but Mugo is not cut from that cloth.
Mugo lives in a secret compound, protected by 10 bodyguards. She says she trains the guard dogs herself, even naming her favourite one Hitler.
In an attempt to show how she trains her guards, some of the men in ill-fitting black suits and black shades patrol the compound as others in T-shirts and shorts are seen frog-marching. One rolls on the floor, with Mugo splashing water on him from a pipe, mimicking a torture scene straight from a movie, only that hers looked more like child’s play. She asks the man: “What are my names (sic), why did you come here?”
The BBC report added that Mugo has put behind bars more than 70 criminals and received numerous death threats. However, she does not mention a single case she has solved.
For her protection, she has rigged her home with secret cameras hidden in everyday objects. To guard against being poisoned, the chef has to taste the food first before she takes it.
“If she [the chef] refuses to have the food, of course, I’m not going to have it. Because if you cooked the food why don’t you want to taste it?” she says.
Mugo regularly trains her security guards, but much of the work is led by her bodyguard, code-named Charlie 1. The guards are trained to endure maximum pain, including being whipped during meal time. When asked, one admits it was indeed painful to be whipped, while others say “I’m not in pain. I’m fine.” But Mugo adds: “I love my job and I love justice. Fighting for justice is in my blood.”
Her team, according to BBC, has been credited with solving several difficult cases. She has been approached for information on theft, cheating spouses, and sometime killings. Most of the cases, Mugo says, are from local and outside the country, which are confidential.
The self-proclaimed “best in the world” spy even sips a drink from a bottle with her image on it. Her methods have been questioned. Reactions on social media criticised BBC for airing “substandard content”.
One user said: “That BBC documentary on Jane Mugo is painful viewing. Should’ve come with viewer discretion for those who don’t want to burn their brain cells.” Some likened Mugo to Melissa McCarthy, an American actress, and comedian.
Another Twitter user, responding to the men being whipped as they picked food, added: “All this man wanted was a small serving of dried-out pilau njeri after a long day of throwing what can only be described as the weakest punches to ever be committed to film and is, instead, pummeled across his back with an old leather belt.”