Comedian Nick Chege alias Kartelo last saw his father sometime in 2006, with his disappearance remaining a mystery till date.
The ‘Milele FM’ radio presenter opened up about his missing father on K24 TV’s ‘Up Close With Betty’, revealing that his dad left for work one morning never to be seen again.
“My father just disappeared. It was in 2006. He just woke up one morning, went to work and never came back. We have never seen him since,” Kartelo recounted to Betty Kyallo.
“My mum had been posted to work in Murang’a as a teacher. My father convinced her to live at his home since he was from the area. But it did not go as planned, her inlaws beat her up, they stabbed her. She was admitted in hospital for a long time.
“My father left when she was bedridden, she did not have a job and was still recovering. So it really hurt my mother,” Kartelo added.
The social media sensation added that his father was a family man but he was depressed.
“Alikua family man mpoa but alikua alcoholic. Na ilikua inatumess sana ju pesa yote alikua anapata ilikua inaenda kwa pombe. But alikua depressed,” he said.
According to Kartelo, they initially thought their father’s disappearance was a joke because he would go missing for months.
“Tulikua tunadhani ni jokes. Mzae wangu alikua conman fulani so alikua ana disappear from time to time. Mzae wangu angeenda uskie alicon mse dooh maze anadissapear two months halafu all of a sudden unaona ametoka jela. Anatoka Inda. So kidogo kidogo maze anadisappear mnaenda mnapata alikua Mombasa huko hata alibuy Lorry; wao hubebanga mchanga.
“So venye ali disappear tukatake kama kawaida mzae tukajua atarudi tu. Then one month, two months, ikaenda. One year, two years. So tuli realize after two years mzae amedissapear. Kutoka hiyo time sahii ni over 10 years. So after hapo ndio search ikaanza akatafutwa kwa redio..wazazi wake walikua na doo so walimtafuta sana but hakupatikana,” recounted Ksrtelo.
With his father missing, the Bangaiza Reloaded host said his mother was able to raise him and two other siblings all on a Ksh150 paycheque a day from doing laundry.
“She inspired my comedy. We lived in poverty, had a lot of problems but we made jokes about it,” Kartelo said.
“Naeza mwambia shukran sana mum na everything yenye nafanya nam owe a lot. Yaani singekua hapa, maybe ningekua kwa street ama ningekua nimedeady hata yeye angendokea kama mzae but amekua mstrong. She is the strongest woman mwenye najua and everyday nitaishi tu kuimpress na kufanya anything yenye tu naeza fanya kumake sure ameishi ile life hakuishi akiwa anatulea. Mum ni mspecial sana,” he said.
Kartelo’s message to his father: “Naeza mwambia maze arudi home mamabo iko fine na vijana wake wamegrow. Aliniachanga nikiwa mtoi mdogo, arudi tu si tuanampenda na tunamtambua sana na mi nimemmiss.”