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FLOSSIN Mauwano: The multi-talented thick-skinned survivor

Stephen Mule alias Flossin Mauwano has had a difficult childhood. His parents died when he was young, he was bullied by an abusive stepmother and was forced to spend time in the streets, hustling by selling groundnuts to raise money to buy food. This was after her parents died in a freak road accident in Nairobi.
Flossin Mauwano in a screen grab of his Kula Nyasi song available on YouTube.

In an interview with People Daily, Mule said that his parents passed on in 1997. They died as they tried to cross the road. This was during political violence of the then general elections during the reign of President Daniel arap Moi.

"In 1997, I watched  both of my parents get knocked down on the highway [along Lang'ata road] while escaping an irate crowd of youths following the election violence that erupted that year.

The vivid picture of their lifeless bodies has forever been embedded in my head since then", he said during another interview with The Standard last year. 

It is the grisly demise of his parents that led to birth of Stephen Mule's stage name, Flossin Mauwano.

His dad was a military officer who was also polygamous.

A conniving stepmother plotted to marry his father's lawyer to disinherit Mauwano and his family. That was the genesis of his troubles.

After the death of his parents, the step mum attempted to burn the young Flossin Mauwano. Luckily, he escaped through a sewer and would call Laini Saba slums in Kibra constituency his new home, albeit temporarily.

Developing a thick skin

The survivor had to learn entrepreneurial skills early in life such as hawking.

When his step mother got wind of the news that Mauwano was getting cozy with Mercy Ndungu, the househelp employed in the family home, they were both thrown out.

He impregnated the young woman and they got a baby boy. That was when Mauwano was in form two. Earlier, the step mother unsuccessfully attempted to prevail on them to procure an abortion. She had arranged the plan with a doctor.
A partly hidden writing of Flossin Mauwano on the road.

When the son was born, the family called him Nairobi Musembi. This was in memory of hard street life in one of Africa's biggest slums. 

As a way of giving back to the community, he took part in road safety campaigns which he promoted by use of graffiti drawings. This helped save lives as government officials  erected signage to direct road users while driving or walking.

The fiasco around house help and the young artist led to the arrest of Flossin Mauwano. He spent some months in jail. It is the jail time that distilled his character. It would later inform his music compositions and the graffiti art he's famous for.

Flossin Mauwano is not alone in the road safety campaigns. Other young people help him pass the message.

However, he was arrested during one of his sensitization of road safety activities via graffiti and was charged with being a vandal. He says he was misunderstood.

The rapper also does interior design and painting.


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