King Kafu’s redemption story is one that has over the years inspired and proved to many that change is possible. He went from a life of crime to a respected media personality who believes crime does not pay.
Here is his story as told by WoK.
His real name is Nicholas Cheruiyot. As a child, he liked playing fullback position in football. He likened him to Brazilian footballer Cafu. Later, as he got into media, he added the name King.
The media personality lost his parents while in Class Four and went to live with an aunt who made his life miserable. He dropped out of school while in Grade seven and went on to deal in scrap metal.
From the earnings, he bought and sold clothes around the neighbourhood. After getting his money, he would join a couple of friends for a jam session. It is these friends that he joined crime with.
Life in Crime
His life in the underworld began when a sports journalist was robbed and the police rounded up a few young men for the crime.
King Kafu was arrested together with his brother and they spent months in jail before being bailed out. His brother then died from an illness he had contracted while in prison.
These events hurt him and he thought if he could get arrested for nothing, he may as well do the crime. Thus, began his life in crime.
He started by petty crimes like handbag snatching before graduating to armed robbery. They would hijack cars and take all the money.
In a past interview, King Kafu recounted how he robbed people planning for a funeral. This made the family suffer as they had to wait one more month before burying their dead.
In another instance, they carjacked a car with a woman who was about to give birth. They took everything including their car keys so that the couple was unable to report them.
Their gang was organized and they would split the earnings with the leader getting the biggest share.
Sometimes, they would get up to Ksh500,000 and other times as little as Ksh100. He said he deeply regrets these crimes and hopes youths would not engage in crime.
In 2006, a neighbour went to bail him out of prison and asked him what it would take to leave crime. At the time, he was also thinking of leaving crime since he had seen a lot of his friends die.
He did not want to become part of the statistics the neighbour helped him get a job. He started making Ksh100 per day from cutting business cards, calendars and posters. He also started making coffins at city mortuary.
The neighbour told him of a new radio station that was due to open and he should be on the lookout.
When Ghetto radio opened, he got a job as a messenger. Then, he was trained and began hosting the drive show before moving to the morning show.