Gospel music crooner Daddy Owen has disclosed that the purported natural squint in one of his eyes resulted from a mob justice beating during his days as a thug.
Speaking to Radio Jambo on Tuesday, Daddy Owen revealed that he was in a gang that used to terrorize residents in Eastlands area of Nairobi. This was right after his high school education when he lived in Eastland’s sprawling Umoja estate.
“My friends and I had planned to steal in a matatu, but things did not turn out well as the people in that matatu beat me up,” Daddy Owen recalled.
“I came to Nairobi from shags, met different people here, and as a young person, I wanted to fit in the crew. I joined a gang that we used to call ‘Mbogi’, and our work was to rob from people. I don’t like this story but I want to inspire someone who will hear it. I became a thug for two to three years,” Daddy Owen added.
Even as Owen’s accomplices were gunned down, the ‘Vanity’ singer said he was unfazed and continued to rob people.
“Most of my friends were killed, others burned down to ashes but I still did it. You know it is only serious when it happens to you?” he said.
Recalling the incident that changed his life and eyesight, Owen said he was beaten up by passengers in a PSV he had attempted to rob.
“There were no phones and so my friends realised that there were askaris in that car and left without my knowledge. Like we had planned, I started the mission of stealing from the back seats but I was caught and badly beaten. That is when my eye was pierced,” he said.
The singer was fortunate to escape death by a whisker and was rushed to hospital. From then on, he resolved to change his ways.
“I realised I needed to change my life as well as behaviour. I had fought so hard to fit in the gang, but all of them did not come to visit me in hospital,” he said.
“The most supportive person was my brother Rufftone, who completely stood by me because my dad was away, working to keep the family going. He was the big brother and he really helped me. He mentored me and my music journey was inspired by him. Immediately after I was discharged from hospital, I got saved,” Owen said.