Young Kenyan acrobat Wendy Waeni has revealed damning details of how her previous manager Joe Mwangi used her talent to enrich himself.
Speaking during an interview with Citizen TV’s Jeff Koinange, Wendy who was among three other talented children on the JKLive bench, disclosed that despite performing for the high and the mighty across the world, her family lives in abject poverty.
Previously, the 14-year-old has performed in Germany, China and Rwanda where she has rubbed shoulders with prominent business leaders and politicians.
“I have performed all over the world but I’ve never gotten a penny from it and that is because of my previous manager (Joe Mwangi)” said Wendy.
Wendy and Rwanda President Paul Kagame [Courtesy]She revealed that her family lives in a single-room house in Huruma, Nairobi.
Her mother sells sweets and cigarettes to fend for her family.
“My mother is really suffering. She’s working right now (10 pm). She sells sweets and cigarettes at night and we’re in this situation because of Joe Mwangi. Ever since I started performing across the globe, my mum has never gotten a single penny, ” she added.
The teen divulged that Joe Mwangi even used her social media account to push for his selfish interests.
“It ‘s really so sad when people tell me I’m rude, I am a brat because I post things on Instagram which I don’t really know. I don’t have access to my social media accounts. It’s Joe Mwangi who controls them,” she said.
She has since replaced, Mwangi with Becky Wangari who is now her current manager.
Singer Leyla Mohammed, who last year wowed Kenyans with her rendition of ”Wimbo wa Historia‘, and Ellynane Githae, young environmentalist, also shared their inspiring stories on their passions.
Wendy’s story sparked a conversation on social media, with netizens appealing to Wendy to record a statement with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), hence, lead to the arrest and prosecution of Joe Mwangi.
In response, the manager, who responded to Wendy’s claims, said he has never travelled with the minor outside the country. He also denied conning her.
Short Thread :
1. On the video it has been said that i (Joe) has travelled all over the world with Wendy,
FACT : I have NEVER,NEVER EVER left this country in company of Wendy Waeni.
Anybody with any proove that i have flew out any given time with her,put it here . https://t.co/MW2tpZeCs2
— MWAS JOE (@Mwasjoe50) August 8, 2019
However, a video posted by TV47 Managing Director Eugine Anangwe, contracts Mwangi’s tour statement as he’s captured in the company of Wendy when she met President Kagame in Rwanda back in 2016.
I have the proof and here it is! https://t.co/ZnTadyGv0D
— Eugene Anangwe (@AmEugeneAnangwe) August 8, 2019
Here are some of the reactions from netizens who followed the story.
Wendy Waeni is a child & I trust her word … Joe Mwangi used her & her social media accounts to enrich himself … Joe exploited her innocence to get access to Presidents & powerful men … Joe Mwangi should be charged with international crimes of Child Slavery & Trafficking.
— Donald B Kipkorir (@DonaldBKipkorir) August 8, 2019
The little girl Wendy was being conned, not just the money but her online persona wasn’t that of a little girl. The fucker Joe Mwangi was running her account unintelligently, sometimes making adult tweets on an account that belonged to a kid. We exposed him. @Asamoh_
— DD (@Disembe) August 7, 2019
— Rein (@Asamoh_) August 7, 2019
So Joe Mwangi has been conning @WendyWaeni ? No wonder the account manager has been rude when called to accountability. @citizentvkenya help Wendy out. Joe has been taking all the cash away. It is heartbreaking. #JKLive
— Rein (@Asamoh_) August 7, 2019
I don't know about child trafficking but one time Wendy came to Orange house and we cut a cheque for her foundation to buy some play stuff. Weeks later Joe Mwangi came asking us to change it and write the cheque in his name. I cancelled the whole thing. https://t.co/YvwL6txpBx
— Edwin Sifuna (@edwinsifuna) August 8, 2019
Joe Mwangi story should be thoroughly investigated, I want to believe she did not exploit Wendy Waeni in any other way during their trips. Someone should try to make her open up because my gut feeling tells me more might have happened being the scenes, God forbid.
— Mr. Kimani™ (@wckimani) August 8, 2019
Joe Mwangi is just but a proffessional con At times "Wendy Waeni" would post but then again I'd be like ain't this kid supposed to be in school
kumbe ni kama jamaa alikuwa na stock ya pics and posting them whenever he felt like
Joe Mwangi should tell us how being Waeni felt like
— Britney Michelle🇰🇪🇰🇪🇰🇪 (@OwanghB) August 8, 2019
Wendy Waeni is a child & I trust her word. Joe Mwangi used her & her social media accounts to enrich himself … Joe exploited her innocence to get access to Presidents & powerful men … Joe Mwangi should be charged with international crimes of Child Slavery & Trafficking.
— EAST AFRICA GOT TALENT (@eagt_) August 8, 2019
If it's true Joe Mwangi defrauded this little angel Wendy Waeni @WendyWaeni then, he should do what is justified and payback. Talents should not be killed by greedy managers who exploit hound and innocent talented angels. pic.twitter.com/eZnQSIEXhx
— The Mt. Kenya Times🏅 (@themtkenyatimes) August 8, 2019
It once surfaced on these walls that @WendyWaeni account is fictitious and Joe Mwangi the admin of the account is using Wendy Waeni. What a shame you use someone's child to feed your own!#DeadlineDay #EducationatTatuCity
— Charles Mwabili (@CMwabili) August 8, 2019