Popular Nairobi-based rapper CMB Prezzo in a recent interview came out clean on his little known stint as a youth leader in the infamous outlawed Mungiki faction.
Speaking on a popular YouTube series, Prezzo recounted how he rose to become one of the most sought after acts in Kenya, with numerous hits under his belt before he sadly fell into depression in 2012 following a nasty separation from his ex-wife.
He noted that at the time, he used to stay indoors all the time before one day he received 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, but didn’t reveal the purpose of the said meeting.
He 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 then getting into the world of politics pitched his vision to Prezzo who then accepted to become a youth leader for the Mungiki.
“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? 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 increase his salary,” Prezzo revealed.
Prezzo went on to say that Njenga, who at the time, was strongly opposed to President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto’s run in the 2013 General Elections, began assigning him various responsibilities including organising press conferences.
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.
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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.