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Take 5 with Kevin Oyugi

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By ABIGAIL ARUNGA
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Kevin Oyugi is the blogger behind Nate’s Crest (www.natescrest.com) and the OYGK Mag founder, which was nominated last year for the Bloggers Association of Kenya annual awards in the entertainment category. He is also a Wikipedia Kenya ambassador.

1. Describe yourself, professionally and personally

Professionally, I’m an introvert – proudly – turned – extrovert who is obsessed with self-improvement, uniqueness, and a search for the apex.

I’m a communications professional with over eight years of experience in researching, designing, prototyping, implementing and analysing communication strategies and partnerships in the public and private sectors within the Eastern African region.

I’m passionate about getting immersed in impactful work, changing lives, promoting positivity and progress. Personally, I’m a God-fearing, physically young but mentally old soul, enthusiastic about block-buster and indie films and series, historical books and sagas, exotic and luxury travel, thought-altering and enriching conversations, cuisine and just living a good life.

2. And these are some of the things that your blogging career has chronicled. Tell us a little bit about Nate’s Crest – why the name change, the shift, and what does this mean you are doing now?

It’s great that you mention this. Nate’s Crest was born out of a desire to better myself and my audience. I look at it as a turning point in my writing journey. I’d been blogging about the same thing, over and over, for six years, on my previous entertainment blog, and I wasn’t seeing any results.

I wanted a site that sought to create conversation, lead thoughtful discussions, and ultimately be a smashing hit. I came close to winning an entertainment blogging award, but losing out made me ask myself some critical questions. I’d purposed to attempt to create unique content, and looked at what would potentially be an untapped audience, and settled on the East African man’s world… Nate’s Crest. The site looks to address issues affecting, entertaining or stimulating the regional male in an almanac format not seen before.

3. What do you have to say as an entertainment blogger in the current sphere we live in today, seeing as you’ve been doing this for so long – more than five years? Do you think that we’ve gotten better at entertainment and lifestyle writing, or if not? What needs to change?

You’re right. I’ve been actively blogging since 2007 and I must say, it is not for the faint hearted, or the trend-followers. You need to be both quick on your feet, and be able to offer engaging and quality content, or you’ll quickly be drawn into a cesspool or click bait low quality, poorly researched content.

In the Kenyan context, I don’t feel that we’ve quite cracked the entertainment genre. If you see a number of the bigger media outlets, mainstream and established sites taking to gossip and largely social media references, you realise there’s both a problem, and an opportunity for bloggers to fill the gap.

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I think lifestyle bloggers are taking a better cue in terms of audience dynamics, as they are offering enriching content to readers on a host of topics and really owning the space.
We need to have visually, and content-wise, better quality entertainment and lifestyle writing if we’re to cement the region on a global scale.

We need to put on a local cap to tap into a myriad of issues and highlights which would entrance and enrich our audiences further.

Wouldn’t it be fascinating to read a post on the top ten grossing Kenyan films of the decade, or life hacks for a young Western Kenyan man who is looking for a wife?

4. And speaking of lifestyle and entertainment, there is a distinct growth in the socialite culture in Ken-ya. Do you think entertainment media has encouraged this, or contributed to it? What do you think about that particular lifestyle?

I figure that socialites have been around for decades, but the onset of social media (coincidentally synonymous), has given them the perfect platform to reach both their targets, and the masses.

Entertainment media is contributing to, and encouraging the trend, because we all know that good or bad news … is news, and ultimately creates an impression.

I’ve come to appreciate that just because I don’t subscribe to a certain school of thought or norm, doesn’t mean that it’s not right or wrong, so I wouldn’t want to be the one to finger point. A hustle is a hustle, especially in these difficult streets.

5. If you weren’t a blogger, would you be…well, an architect? What happened to the old architecture blog? While at it what exactly does a Wikipedia ambassador do?

Though I’d love to, I don’t blog full time at the moment. While I would probably look at getting back into architecture in my 50s, I figure I’d most likely be a fictional writer who lives by the ocean-side.

My architectural blog is still there, suspended on the inter-webs and in my subconscious, waiting to be refuelled one day when I feel I’m more stable in my passion for writing and build wonders, on www.natekev.wordpress.com.

As an ambassador, I promote Wikipedia in Kenya, contribute to articles online, help improve local content, and gather people together to possibly form an official chapter next year.



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Sentence Jane Muthoni to death, the State urges court in husband murder case

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Jane Muthoni hired men, including her co-accused, to kill her husband Solomon Mwangi in November 2016. [File, Standard]

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) wants Jane Muthoni, who was found guilty of her husband’s murder on April 22, sentenced to death.
Muthoni, alongside her co-accused Isaac Ng’ang’a, was declared guilty of Solomon Mwangi’s murder, which occurred in November 2016.
State Prosecutor Catherine Mwaniki told the Nakuru High Court on Tuesday, May 18 that the crime committed by the two; and the manner in which the murder was executed, “deserves a severe punishment such as death sentence”.
“This is a case that meets the threshold of a death penalty,” said Mwaniki.
“We are looking at the seriousness of the acts that led to Solomon Mwangi’s death. In our conclusion, we pray that this court finds that the element of the statutory premeditation was satisfied in this case,” she submitted.
According to the prosecutor, her team proved beyond any reasonable doubt that there was “substantial orchestration and planning” of Mwangi’s execution by Muthoni and Ng’ang’a.
“Mwangi’s death was not caused by a spontaneous act of violence, or an act of self-defense by the accused,” said Mwaniki, who proposed Muthoni and Ng’ang’a be sentenced to death.
Lawyer Wokabi Mathenge, who represented Solomon Mwangi’s family in the case, reiterated the Prosecution’s recommendation, terming Mwangi’s killing as “Murder Most Foul”.

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“He was defenseless while being killed,” said Mathenge.
The lawyer said Muthoni was yet to express any remorse to Mwangi’s family over his murder.
“The first accused (Muthoni), being a teacher, was expected to impart ethics to learners. In this case, she was the mastermind of her husband’s death. She, therefore, conducted herself in a manner not expected of a person of her stature,” said Mathenge.
According to the lawyer, Mwangi’s murder deprived his four children of fatherly love.
“We urge the court to find that a death sentence will suffice. Mwangi’s death was premeditated and well-planned,” he emphasised.
The accused’s lawyer, Francis Njanja, however defended Muthoni and Ng’ang’a against death sentence, stating the two have cooperated with the courts thus far.
Njanja maintained that even though the courts found the duo guilty of murder, they were “still innocent”.
Muthoni, who addressed the court via video conferencing, pleaded her innocence, saying her family had suffered throughout the period she’s been in custody.
“I’m the only hope and surviving breadwinner in my family. My children are suffering, yet those who killed my husband are out there walking freely,” she said.
Ng’ang’a, on his part, pleaded with the court to consider a lenient sentence on him.
Justice Joel Ngugi said the two persons will be sentenced on June 3, 2021.
How Mwangi’s murder was planned
During the trial, the court heard that in early November 2016, Muthoni hired two men to kill her spouse, the principal of Kiru Boys’ High School in Mathioya, Murang’a County. One of the hired killers was Muthoni’s co-accused, Isaac Ng’ang’a. The other, Nelson Njiru, disappeared shortly after learning that Muthoni and Ng’ang’a were being hunted.
Muthoni had been directed to Ng’ang’a and Njiru by Joseph Kariuki, who turned into a Prosecution witness following a plea negotiation. Kariuki was, however, sentenced to seven years in jail for manslaughter.
Upon arrest in mid-November 2016, Muthoni and Ng’ang’a, alias Gikuyu, were charged with Solomon Mwangi’s murder.
The court, through Kariuki, heard that Muthoni engineered her husband’s killing after he allegedly kick-started a relationship with another woman, identified in court as MWK or M-Pesa Lady. The plan was to eliminate Mwangi’s lover and then kill him, the court was told.
After four years in court, the case came to a close on Thursday, April 22, 2021, when Muthoni and Ng’ang’a were declared guilty of Mwangi’s murder.
“The offence of murder is established against both the first and second accused persons (Muthoni and Ng’ang’a respectively). Consequently, I find and hold that both accused persons are guilty of the murder of the deceased. I hereby convict both of them accordingly,” Justice Ngugi pronounced himself on the case.
In the ruling, the judge observed that Muthoni did not physically kill Mwangi, but “evidence demonstrated that she was the author of the plot”.
Muthoni reportedly parted with Sh50,000 for Mwangi’s killing, which was conducted by Ng’ang’a and another person not before the court Nelson Njiru. The hired killers strangled Mwangi to death on November 6, 2016, and dumped his body in Karakuta Coffee Estate in Juja, Kiambu County.
The court relied on 18 SMSs between Muthoni and Njiru, and 21 Prosecution witnesses to conclude that Muthoni had masterminded her husband’s murder.

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You should be humble, Tuju tells judges after BBI ruling

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Judges should be humble and realise that they depend on other arms of government like the police, even as they exercise their authority in court, Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju has said.

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Court Postpones Sentencing of Ex-School Head Convicted of Husband’s Murder –

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A Nakuru Court on Tuesday postponed the sentencing of Jane Muthoni, the former principal of Icaciri Secondary School in Kiambu.

Muthoni was last month found guilty of killing her husband, Solomon Mwangi, who then was the principal of Kiru Boys Secondary, Murang’a County.

The former school head will be sentenced on June 3.

The prosecution asked for the death sentence.

She and her co-accused Isaac Ng’ang’a alias Gikuyu were alleged to have committed the offence on diverse dates between November 6 and November 11, 2016, at Karakuta Coffee Estate in Juja sub-county, Kiambu County.

She claimed it was her husband’s colleagues who orchestrated the murder after he refused to play into their game over transfers.

Muthoni told the court that the principals, who influenced transfers and promotions of teachers in the region, were aggrieved after Mbuthi was posted to the school while she was promoted to head Icaciri Secondary School without going through them.

Muthoni alleged that the cartel had demanded Sh1 million from them to facilitate their transfer to schools of their choice.

Read: Widow of Slain Kiiru Boys Principal Convicted of Murder

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The court heard that the cartel framed Muthoni after killing her husband.

She was accused of having hired four people to kill her husband after suspecting him of having extramarital affairs.

One of the suspects identified as Joseph Kariuki Njuguna alias Karis confessed to being part of a gang hired by the slain principal’s wife to commit the crime.

In a 10-page confession that placed Muthoni at the murder scene, Njuguna pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter in a plea bargain arrangement that saw him agree to be a prosecution witness.

He was sentenced to seven years in jail by Kiambu High Court judge Joel Ngugi in March 2017.

In his ruling, the judge stated that it was evident the accused was not directly involved in the planning and execution of the murder, terming him a reluctant participant who did it for money.

He, however, faulted him for doing nothing to prevent the murder.

The fourth suspect, Nelson Njiru, is still at large.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

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