Recently, the artist Ringtone Apoko and comedian David Oyando, better known as Mulamwah, crossed paths in Nairobi, sharing an enjoyable time and engaging in conversation.
During their meeting, the two friends engaged in light-hearted banter, playfully teasing each other about various aspects of their lives. However, things took an unexpected turn when Mulamwah levied an accusation against Ringtone, claiming that the gospel singer had engaged in fraudulent activities during his time at St. Anthony Boys High School in Kitale.
Mulamwah alleged, “Huyu msee ametoka mbali. Alikuwa mwizi. Alikuwa anaimba gospel lakini alikuwa anatuibia. Alikuwa anakuja shuleni anatuibia” (Translation: “This guy has come a long way. He used to be a thief. He pretended to sing gospel but was actually stealing from us. He would come to school and rob us”).
The father of one accused Ringtone of selling discs to students that contained no music, a fact only discovered when students attempted to play them after the school had closed. He recounted, “Ulikuja St. Anthony Boys nikiwa form 2. Ulikuja na Toyota Seneca, ilikuwa inamulika macho hivi, unatung’aria kabisa. Ulikuja na madisk kwa gunia, eti umekuja kutuuzia. Tukanunua zote. Na zote zilikuwa empty. Hakuna ilikuwa na ngoma” (Translation: “You came to St. Anthony Boys when I was in Form 2. You arrived in a Toyota Seneca, all flashy. You had a bag full of discs, claiming to sell them to us. We bought all of them, and they were all empty. Not a single one had any songs”).
Ringtone defended himself by explaining that the high-speed burning of the discs made them unplayable on the outdated machines used in the village. He said, “Ziliburniwa na speed ya juu, mashine za Waluhya za kijijini hapo za China haziwezi kusoma CD imeburniwa na speed ya juu” (Translation: “They were burned at high speed, and the village’s Chinese-made Luhya machines couldn’t read CDs burned at such high speed”).
Mulamwah, however, stood his ground, asserting that Ringtone had sold discs without music and had even placed reggae music on some of them. He claimed, “Hakuna injili ambayo ulieneza. Alikuwa na CD moja wakati zingine ameprint picha zake haziimbi, na zingine ni za reggae” (Translation: “He didn’t promote gospel music at all. He had one gospel CD, while the rest had his pictures and some contained reggae music”).
Ringtone continued his defense, stating, “Ukweli ni machine zetu zilikua na mbio na zenu zilikua polepole tulikua na laptop na zote zilicheza hio ndo ukweli” (Translation: “The truth is, our machines were faster, while yours were slow. We had laptops, and they all played. That’s the truth”).
In addition to the accusations about the discs, Mulamwah also accused Ringtone of selling T-shirts made from umbrella material to students. He alleged, “Shirt zimetengenezwa kwa mwavuli Ringtone aliuzia students” (Translation: “The shirts were made from umbrella material, and Ringtone sold them to students”).
Ringtone, however, vehemently defended himself, asserting that the clothes he sold to students were of excellent quality and were never counterfeit. He also proudly claimed to have inspired students of Mulamwah’s generation in Kitale, helping them win the High School football tournament, and hinted at plans to return to inspire another generation of students in the future.