Jane Mugo: The Kenyan Spy Queen

By: Joy Ng’ethe Shiku3joy@gmail.com

Thumbnail photo courtesy of bbc.com

On January 25, 2021, Jane Mugo, a private Kenyan detective was brought into the limelight through a BBC Africa documentary which highlighted her life and work practice. Jane Mugo was referred to as a ‘Spy Queen’ or rather ‘Kenya’s James Bond’ in the documentary.

She mentioned that she is hired by politicians to spy on their opponents making her an easy target for death threats. This in turn makes her very conscious including using her right-hand man, Charlie one to taste her food before she eats to ensure it is not poisoned. The documentary also showed that Jane’s chef has to eat the food too so that she can make sure it is good for her consumption.

Jane Mugo, Kenya’s Spy Queen. Photo courtesy of tuko.co.ke

“Sometimes politicians would be specific and they’d tell us ‘I want you to give me somebody who’d be a bodyguard and an intelligence officer’ during the campaign time,” said Jane.

She also eagerly showed off her Taekwondo moves and her teams’ training session including torture methods used to interrogate suspects. Experts brought in during the documentary labelled her work as malpractice due to her unconventional methods to solve cases.

Kenyans responded to the documentary with mixed reactions, with most calling out BBC for taking them on a ride thus forcing the channel to turn off comments on the video. With comments turned off, Kenyans took to social media to air their thoughts.
“That BBC documentary on Jane Mugo is painful viewing. Should’ve come with viewer discretion for those who don’t want to burn their brain cells,” tweeted Gabriel Oguda

Despite the negative reception of the documentary, Jane in an interview on Radio Jambo pointed out that she ought to be celebrated for breaking through a male-dominated field and emerging top. She also referred to those hating on her as idlers who have never appeared on a local radio station or in their village limelight and cannot show off what they have done in their village as they struggle to put food on the table yet they go-ahead to be jealous souls. In her closing remarks, she said that she’ll keep fighting for justice because she is the best and no one can beat her.

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