Gibson Gathu Mbugua, the man who played prosecutor on the long-running TV comedy programme Vioja Mahakamani is finally going to receive the much-needed help he needs.
Mr Mbugua popular known as kiongozi wa mashtaka from his prosecutor on the programme has in almost four decades helped deliver punchlines and bring the best out of comedians and is scheduled for a kidney transplant early next month.
The actor had appealed to Kenyans to help him stay on his feet in a medical fundraiser that happened in Nairobi on Saturday.
Speaking to Nation, Mr Mbugua said he needed to raise Sh6 million to undergo the transplant at Mediheal facility in Eldoret, which he said is slated for the first week of July.
During the fundraiser which was held at Charter Hall inside the Nairobi County building on Muindi Mbingu Mbugua street, he revealed to Nation that President Uhuru Kenyatta sent Sh2 million.
“President Kenyatta who is a good friend did send his personal donation of Sh2 million. We as a family and the committee thank him for the support,” he said.
He added that they almost hit the target after getting support from local artists and also Kenyans in diaspora.
He has been battling diabetes for some time and with his kidney failure that happening in 2020.
He noted that the donor is a relative, though he opted to keep their identity secret. The transplant, he noted, should enable him to continue acting — what he has been doing all his adult life.
“Dialysis is expensive. Your insurance cover gets exhausted and you start spending off your pocket. You know, insurance is limited. Every day you visit, the dialysis is from Sh10,000 and you have to go three times a week,” he said.
“And they don’t pay for the third. So that has forced me to dig into my pockets and that has drained family finances. So, I saw that if I get a transplant, my life will get back to normal and I will do my work.”
He aims to raise Sh6 million through the fundraiser, and says the money will mostly be for post-surgery care.
“Actually, the cost of surgery is not that expensive. What is expensive is the post-surgery care because those drugs are very expensive,” he said.
“The anti-rejection drugs are very expensive, and there is no use having a transplant while I can’t get the drugs, which I’ll consume for the rest of my life. That’s why we need Sh6 million for the post-care.”
Vioja Mahakamani is one of Kenya’s pioneer comedy series and one of the country’s most popular television shows. The show has been broadcast for over 25 years on Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC).
In 2017, the show made a return after years of being off-air with a new cast in which the former actors bashed the new cast that took up their roles.
The management decided to revamp the popular courtroom drama show by roping in some new young faces including comedian Dr Ofweneke, Nice Githinji, Maasai – among others.
According to the veteran actors, the new cast simply can’t match up to what they had created before.
“It doesn’t surprise us that the new show does not have good ratings because what we had built in the show took us years. The new cast surely can’t match that simply because many people tuned in to watch us in Vioja Mahakamani,” says Lucy Wangui who played Judge.
Mbugua was one of the pioneer faces of the local entertainment scene and his no-nonsense approach, similar to the one employed by actual prosecutors in courts, made him a fan favourite.