Shocking past of Australian philanthropist mentoring Kenyan youth
Everyone has a story to tell but Australian born philanthropist and motivational speaker Michael Flynn can write two novels and a movie.
His life is a script right off a classic mafia movie; a life of deep dark crime, redemption, and corporate success.
Nairobians know him as the fearless mzungu who walks the most dangerous streets without a care in the world.
However behind that veil is a man who has been through hell and high water and is passionate to share his story and all the nuggets of truth he has picked up along the way.
Nairobi News sat down with this charismatic man and brings you all the shocking details of the Michael Flynn Mentor story.
What’s the worst thing that has ever happened to you in your crime days?
My drug dealing partner and I had amassed a considerable amount of money and drugs after a successful season of business. One night we were home invaded and robbed of all our money and all our drugs. I will never forget having a shotgun pointed at me during that night.
Over the next few days things were tense between my partners and I as I began to realize he suspected that I had set-up the home invasion.
A few days later on a sparkly Sunday morning he arrived very early at my door and told me he knew who had robbed us and we were going for a drive.
I got in the back with my business partner as a heavy guy called Jeff who was a recently released tough guy from prison drove the car. The conversation in the back seat became increasingly hostile and at one stage they started beating me. I knew if I ran I was as good as dead, so in between blows I protested my innocence.
We parked the car after a 15 minute drive and another man came and got into the front seat. This man was so scary, he made the other scary guy look like a choir boy. You could ‘sense’ the prison life and violence on this man as he turned around and leered at me in the back seat saying ‘Gooday’ in Australian sheng.
His face had scar one quarter inch wide from above his eye all the way down over his eye to reach the bottom of is face.
As we drove off the conversation turned to “lets take him to Centennial Park (an enormous Sydney park) and tie him to a tree and kill him.”
As we drove around the 300 acre park the talk about what they were going to do to me became more ugly but because it was such a beautiful morning, people had started arriving early so finding a place quiet enough to kill me was proving difficult. I remember seeing kids playing and thinking these would be the last things I would ever see.
Soon the frustrated men decided to take me back to my house where I was bundled into a basement so no-one could hear. For the next hour I was terrorized, beaten and tortured. I found out what fear was that day. Fear is never about what is happening. It is about what you think will happen next.
How did you leave that life of crime?
It was a choice between life and death, I saw so many of my friends either die or go to prison so I knew my clock was ticking. My transformation came when I fell sick with hepatitis due to my drug problem, I went through a painful 6 month recovery at my mom’s house that made me vow to change my life.
My life literally began then when I was 26 and ready for a new life of personal growth and transformation.
How did you come to Kenya and how long have you been here?
I came to Kenya ten years ago to volunteer in an orphanage and be helpful to others. I was asked to teach in a local school north of Nakuru and I saw the lack of sport equipment and sport programs and decided to do something about it because sport is a powerful way to transform lives and develop children towards fitness, participation and positive values.
So I started Little Sports Organization, a sports for development NGO that today has thousands of children doing sports and life skills.
Tell us about your Mentorship program…..
It is time to give back. I have a lifetime of personal growth and transformation to share with business leaders and go getters in Kenya. There are so many tools I can show you to accelerate your journey to get you where you want to be. My program is not about me. It’s about you gaining the tools to your success.
Why do you invest in Kenyan youth?
My programs are for big business, business leaders and high achievers that want more and have the hunger for what is the next level. The youth are the future. They are the future greatness of the Kenyan nation. They are the change we seek. A powerful brilliant business minded youth make a powerful brilliant nation.
Comment on the trade versus aid relationship between the west and Africa?
This is a big topic. In short we need to learn to fish not be given fish. Trade causes us to be strong and competitive while so much aid is in the interests of the West makes us dependent on the West.
Aid that creates jobs and profits in the West while Kenyans get to volunteer is a disgrace and I am seeking opportunities to expose that, so we Kenyans can grow stronger. We need aid to be about TRADE so we Kenyans get jobs and development. The goal of ALL aid should be to make itself redundant.