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Detectives hunt for Wendy Waeni's ex-manager

Friday August 30 2019

Joe Mwangi

Joseph Mwangi Nduta alias Joe, who is the former manager of teen acrobat Wendy Waeni. PHOTO | TWITTER  

ELVIS ONDIEKI
By ELVIS ONDIEKI
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Detectives are looking for Joseph Mwangi alias Joe the former manager of popular teen acrobat Wendy Waeni, over forgery claims.

Officers at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations say Mr Mwangi is wanted in connection of a fake threatening letter sent to Wendy’s mother, Magdalene Mbele, purported to have come from an unnamed Cabinet Secretary.

TWITTER STORM

Early this month, Wendy and her mother accused Mr Mwangi of pocketing all the returns from her hard work causing a Twitter storm.

Wendy, 14, became a sensation after her performance before President Uhuru Kenyatta and his counterparts from Rwanda and Ghana on Jamhuri Day 2014.

She said in a television interview aired on August 7 that she has wowed audiences in different places in the world but has little to show for it.

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“I have been performing all over the world. I’ve performed in Rwanda, Germany, China and I’ve not got even a single penny,” she said on Citizen TV.

But Mr Mwangi said the family has received thousands of shillings, and gave an instance when they were given $5,000 (Sh515,750 in today’s rates) by Rwandan president Paul Kagame in 2015.

He added that he has even gone the extra mile to source school fees for Wendy and to give cash to her family for other expenses, citing Sh100,000 he gave Wendy’s mother in December 2018 to facilitate her admission to secondary school.

Wendy’s mother, on her part, said that the fame her daughter has received, has not translated to monetary gain.

DISPUTE

She told reporters earlier this month that when she asked Mr Mwangi about the income from Wendy’s shows, “he said that for all that time, they were just advertising her; that nothing (monetary) was coming from it,” said Ms Mbele.

The dispute has led to Wendy dropping Mr Mwangi as her manager and replacing him with Becky Wangari.

“Right now I live in Huruma because of Joe Mwangi,” Wendy said during the interview.

“My mum is really suffering right now as we talk. I know she is working right now (past 9pm). She sells sweets and we live in a single room in Huruma.”

Prominent personalities also weighed in on the matter, among them ODM’s secretary-general Edwin Sifuna who recalled an incident where he addressed a cheque to Wendy’s foundation but Mr Mwangi demanded that it be in his name.

“I cancelled the whole thing,” tweeted Mr Sifuna.