Popular comedian, Tony Njuguna of the Redikyulass Crew has revealed that he was forced to go into hiding alongside Walter Mong'are and John Kiarie after they dramatised former President Mwai Kibaki and his wife, Lucy in a comedy skit.
Tony Njuguna reveals how Kibaki saved Redykyulass crew from arrest after 2007 skit
Popular comedian, Tony Njuguna of the Redikyulass Crew has revealed that he was forced to go into hiding alongside Walter Mong'are and John Kiarie after they did a piece portraying former President Mwai Kibaki and his wife, Lucy.
In jest, Redykyulass had arrived by helicopter at a rugby event dressed as the president and his wife, momentarily fooling the crowd and the press into thinking they were real.
The comedian recounted that shortly after the piece was aired, the Redikyulass crew got wind reports of their impending arrest by the security agencies.
Njuguna recounted that although Kibaki was laid back and did not see anything wrong with the comedic piece, the police wanted to act in a way that would deter people from making fun of the first family.
Hussein Ali was the Police Commissioner at the time and Kenya's democratic space, as well as the entertainment scene, was rapidly expanding.
According to the comedian, it is the intervention of Mzee Mwai Kibaki that saved them as he stated: "Wachana nao, hiyo si ya maana (Let them be, that is not of importance)."
Njuguna hailed President Kibaki as a true democrat who allowed freedom of speech to thrive.
"Mwai Kibaki did not give a damn what you guys (comedians) were doing. Mwai Kibaki was more democratic. Many people tried to tell him stuff, but what we were hearing from the friends close to State House, Kibaki said their skits were of no significance," he recounted.
High-ranking official reports Redikyulass to Moi and his reaction
Tony explained that a lot of effort went into making the skits a success and ensuring that the characters looked their part, noting that he had to shave his hair to look like the statesman whose part he played.
He also had to add some weight and ate lots of potatoes.
"I was bald for the whole time he was president and it was not makeup, I had shaved for real. This was work for me. I had to attend all my meetings with a cap. I also had to study him from A-Z. I would look for cameramen in the media houses I have worked for to give me clips, I had to study his behaviour, his character, his history, everything," he explained.
He recounted that this was not the first time that the Redikyulass crew was attracting the attention of the first family.
Earlier on, an unnamed official in former President Daniel Arap Moi's government had reported the crew to President Moi for his action.
"There are three people who out of respect I won't mention them, within the KANU regime then who had gone to report us to the president saying there are three small boys playing with you (Moi)," he said.
The second president, however, saw nothing wrong with the skits and was amused with the creativity of the crew when he previewed some tapes.
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