Wisdom from a peddler


Village Elder
In her youth, Faiza Wanjiru loved living life. But somewhere along the way, she got addicted to hard drugs.
At some point, she resorted to conning people and stealing from them in order to finance her substance abuse habit.
Now she is reformed, she says, and is a motivational speaker and businesswoman in Murang'a County.

Additionally, she says she is sorry to all those who fell victim to her thievery after spiking their drinks.
By 2004, she had become such an accomplished con that she would seek barmaid jobs just to prey on men with cash and steal from them.
Specifically, she targeted revellers in Nairobi, Kiambu and Narok counties, ensuring that she emptied their pockets and wallets without using any force.
“I specifically remember a case in 2006 where I stole Sh140,000 from a potato farmer in Narok. For my enterprise, I was in and out of remand and jail five times till 2014. By 2015, my budget for the day was Sh400 for alcohol, Sh200 for miraa, Sh200 for brown sugar (heroin), Sh100 for marijuana, Sh100 for cigarettes, Sh80 to buy spiking drugs and Sh20 for food. It was that good life reaping where I never sowed,” she admits adding that she would resort to sniffing glue during lean times.

To drug her victims' drinks, she explains, she used antidepressant tablets sold in chemists. The most commonly used was Stilnox whose street name is mucere (rice) owing to its resemblance to the grain.
However, she says, she came to realise that the cash she stole from her victims was "cursed" since it would disappear into thin air as fast as it had come. She began to reflect on her life and in 2015, decided to get saved and check herself into a rehabilitation centre.

Faiza Wanjiru during the interview at Mumbi estate, Murang'a town on December 2, 2020.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group
Gives advice
Now, at 36, she says her dark past is firmly behind her. Perhaps in a bid to make up for her past, she volunteers information to revellers in a bid to save others from the crimes that she herself committed.
For instance, Ms Wanjiru says that contrary to the notion that male patrons are more prone to spiked drinks and theft, she cautions that women are increasingly susceptible too.
“With alcoholism nowadays being a both gender challenge, the criminals lurking in bars are awake to the fact that a target can be a man or a woman. There are men and women in this country who carry too much cash on them and literally beg to be stolen from. Money, just like love and a cough, are not concealable,” she says.
She reveals that there are many dangers lurking once you are in a bar loaded with cash and displaying a big appetite for alcohol.
“Among the bar attendants is a thief or two. Among your fellow patrons are other criminals who are well known to their bar staff accomplices. And in extreme cases, some managers are also thieves,” she says.
They will come closer to your table, befriend you, start engaging you in conversation and once you relax and drop your guard, Stilnox finds its way into your beer. In a matter of time, you are asleep and your hard-earned cash will find a new home, she says.

To cover themselves, Ms Wanjiru reveals that bar attendants and the management will insist that you be helped out of the establishment so that when you come to, it will be argued that you had already left the premises when you met your thieves.

In extreme cases, if you own a car, it could also end up stolen.
She also claims that sometimes there is an elaborate network that loops in corrupt police officers who have scouts in bars that identify a person loaded with cash and who is reckless in consuming alcohol.
Soon after they train their eyes on you, she says, an excuse to get you rowdy will be hatched and the police will be called in. You will be arrested and in the ensuing negotiations to get your freedom back, you will be relieved of your cash.
Mobile money balance
Another tactic by rogue bar staff, she reveals, is to ask patrons paying their bills using mobile money services to see the confirmation message after payment. She warns that this may just be a ruse to see your account balance. Your PIN number might also be noted down in your stupor if you are led to pay more than once.
Also, she tips, know when to leave and “avoid this funny habit I witnessed of people who got drunk and either loitered around or slept on their tables waiting for alcohol in to subside from their system".

Leaving your drink unattended as you make a dash to the dancefloor is courting too much trouble, she caution.
Of critical importance, Ms Wanjiru tips, is to choose your bars wisely. The noisier it is, she says, the riskier it will be.
She also notes that those that do not have a specific target client can be dangerous, adding that the more backstreet it's location is, the cruder the staff may treat you in case of any adverse situations.



mbona hio stilnox is sold over the counter , those are drugs that should be countable and restricted to only one chemist in kenya.
Which Chemist? And why must it be that Chemist? What's special about it? Ni kama kusema that since guns kill they should be a reserfor specific sellers. They'll still find their way around master douche bag

Tom Bayeye

Kinyozi wa Stima Jebedeyo
-Heroin ya 200
-Bangi ya 100
Huyu mama either alkuwa anatumia some really shitty drugs ama akili imeruka akasahau bei ya vitu.
I'm thinking both...

Either way it's good that she is doing good now and is helping others.
Ubaya ya kuona movie mingi na kuzaliwa uptown or gishagi.ngwelo kwanza hapo zinaingia stick mbili,champali atapata hata ya 80bob hakuna kusahau ni wewe ndo wakukam