No One Could Sit Next To Me, I Was Smelling- Maina Kageni Recalls How He Was Mistaken For A Nigerian Drug Peddler In The UK


Popular Kenyan presenter Maina Kageni has narrated [On Churchill show] of his struggles and hardships while in the UK and how he eventually managed to survive through the obstacles.

Although Maina relocated to the UK to further his studies, things took a different turn after he failed to attend his college classes. This forced him to look for a job in order to carter for himself.

“After completing high school I moved to the UK and I went from everything to nothing. I registered for college but never attended.

“After my mum found out, that was the end of everything. I had to find my own place and get a job. it was the hardest thing ever and that’s when you realize that you’re strong.” he stated

According to Maina, things were not any easy and he had to strategize and take risks so as to rise from a 35,000 Kenyan shillings pay to make 210,000 Kenyan shillings in a week.

This required him to take a truck job in which he delivered goods to his client. They say spend money to make money and Maina’s narrative was not any different since he had to save up over half a million Kenyan shillings to acquire a license.

“I saw how truck drivers used to make a lot of money and it was ksh210,000 a week yet the most I could get was ksh35,000. So I knew I had to get there but ubaya kufika hapo you need a licence and to get it, it was like ksh560,000 and I had to save,’ he recalled

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Although this was quite an achievement, Maina narrated about days when he pushed himself to work more to top up his pay.

Even with the huge pay, something seemed amiss, his personal hygiene and outlook were wanting. The radio personality remembers an embarrassing moment when people mistook him for being a drug peddler. Other passengers distanced themselves from him since he was smelly.

‘I remember one day I was going home and no one could sit next to me. I was smelling. opposite me, there were two ladies and started gossiping about me in Kikuyu language.

ünaona hiki kimnigeria, kinaenda kuuza madawa”. I sat there and listened and could say nothing because that’s where life had taken me,’ he recalled.

His breakthrough was when he earned thrice his usual pay for working extra days and this enabled him to start a car exporting business.

Maina later moved back to Kenya and is currently among the top paid and best radio presenters in the country.

Apart from Maina another personality who also pursued the truck business abroad is Nyashinski who later returned to Kenya and made a comeback in the music industry.