Former Churchill show comedian Gilbert Barasa, famously known as Mtumishi, has recalled a horrifying experience working as a mortuary attendant.
Speaking to KTN News on Monday, August 29, Barasa stated that he was convinced to work as a mortician due to its competitive salary and was promised Ksh2,000 a day.
His job entailed cleaning and grooming the deceased before releasing the body for the burial ceremony. He was also tasked with helping families pick the right casket size, embalming the body for viewing if desired by the family members and arranging retrieval of the body from the morgue.
However, Barasa was compelled to quit after receiving one of his friend's bodies, who was lynched by a mob in an attempted robbery.
"My friend had faced the wrath of a mob after stealing a phone. After that, I decided to quit," he recounted.
"Before I decided to quit, I was struggling with nightmares. I almost sunk into addiction due to the nature of the work. Since the job requirements did not align with my life preferences, I decided to quit," Barasa explained.
Before starting his career as a mortician, Barasa had also survived a mob attack. He was among the blacklisted carjackers by the police.
The comedian was part of a dreaded gang running a carjacking syndicate in Nakuru and Mombasa.
"In 2005, we missed a target and ended up carjacking a flying squad's car. We confused its colour and number plate. We were arrested and even beaten by the cops," he recalled.
"One of the gang members who was resisting arrest was gunned down. They, however, released us with conditions that we must report to law enforcement officers daily. They further ordered us to vacate Nairobi," he stated.
Barasa moved to Mombasa, where he became a street kid for some time. However, after months of struggling and doing menial jobs in the coastal city, he raised a considerable amount of money and relocated to Nairobi.
In the city, he was reunited with his mother and also went back to school to advance his studies. After his mother passed, Barasa started performing on the streets before joining Kreative Generations where he met Mchungaji, his fellow comedian.
"Our group was performing during the Women’s Day celebrations at the Dagoretti DC’s office in 2012 and Mchungaji’s group was also in attendance. We were impressed with his performance and approached him and he agreed to join us," he stated.
"During our first competition, we discovered that the two of us were the funniest characters in the play. We registered as stand-up comedians in the same competition and luckily went up to the nationals in Nakuru where we were number three. Back in Nairobi, our friends convinced us to audition for Churchill," he explained.
Some of his achievements include being hired by the Director of Criminal Investigation (DCI) George Kinoti to empower the youths.
- . . . .