Many people assume Daddy Owen has a natural squint in one of his eyes, but that isn’t the case.
Speaking to Radio Jambo on Tuesday, the singer said he got the squint eye from a beating he got from an angry audience he was trying to rob in his thieving days.
“My friends and I had planned to steal in a matatu, but things did not turn out well as the people in that matatu beat me up,” Daddy Owen said.
This was immediately after leaving high school. At the time, his family lived in Eastland’s sprawling Umoja estate.
“I came to Nairobi from shags, met different people here, and as a young person, I wanted to fit in the crew. I joined a gang that we used to call ‘Mbogi’, and our work was to rob from people. I don’t like this story but I want to inspire someone who will hear it. I became a thug for two to three years,” he said.
Even as his gang members ended up being killed one by one, Daddy Owen was determined to continue with his lifestyle.
“Most of my friends were killed, others burned down to ashes but I still did it. You know it is only serious when it happens to you?” he said.
Owen nearly lost his life upon being beaten up by a huge crowd when his attempt to steal from passengers was thwarted.
“There were no phones and so my friends realised that there were askaris in that car and left without my knowledge. Like we had planned, I started the mission of stealing from the back seats but I was caught and badly beaten. That is when my eye was pierced,” he said.
Fortunately he escaped death and was rushed to hospital.
“I realised I needed to change my life as well as behaviour. I had fought so hard to fit in the gang, but all of them did not come to visit me in hospital,” he said.
“The most supportive person was my brother Rufftone, who completely stood by me because my dad was away, working to keep the family going. He was the big brother and he really helped me. He mentored me and my music journey was inspired by him. Immediately after I was discharged from hospital, I got saved,” Owen said.
Owen is currently doing music and married with a child they welcomed in July. His songs include Wewe Ni Mungu, Kazi ya Msalaba, Mbona and System ya Kapungala.