An up-and-coming rapper who terrorised Melbourne during a wild crime wave finally came undone after robbing one of his own fans.
Mechac Mukanu, 21, had been robbing, stealing and bashing innocent Melburnians for most of his life since coming to Australia from Sudan.
On Tuesday, the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court heard the ‘hooligan and thug’ was identified by his victim during one violent incident after he recognised him from a music video on YouTube.
Mechac Mukanu walks free from Melbourne Magistrates’ Court in 2020 after being cut loose by a magistrate
Mechac Mukanu is seen rapping in front of Victoria Police officers in his video clip
Mukanu (right) has been offending across Melbourne since he was a kid
‘Are you the guy Shmoney?’ his victim asked after Mukanu and a mate had just robbed him of his Apple Airpods.
The rising rapper, whose Shmoney video clip has to date has racked up more than 172,000 hits, confirmed he was indeed that guy.
The video clip shows Mukanu armed with a baseball bat under Melbourne’s Bolte Bridge rapping about his life of crime.
Other clips show him taunting Victoria Police officers, cars performing burnouts and him smoking what appears to be a joint.
While the video has received high praise among his fans, Mukanu has been condemned for his brazen attacks on ordinary Melburnians.
Mukanu pleaded guilty to more than a dozen assault and robbery charges, some of which occurred while he was already serving a community corrections order over a savage attack on strangers.
Mechac Mukanu (centre) under Melbourne’s Bolte Bridge while armed with a baseball bat during his video clip for Shmoney
That attack, carried out at St Kilda beach just before Christmas in 2018, sent shockwaves throughout the community amid fears of an African gang crime wave.
The alleged gang member was briefly locked-up at the time after shocking footage was released showing a mob of African youths, including Mukanu, repeatedly stomping on three men before robbing them.
Makanu continued robbing and stealing throughout 2019 right up until Covid-19 appeared to bring his madness to an end in 2020.
The court heard Makanu and his mates terrorised the local community in and about Melbourne’s west.
If it wasn’t mobile phones, it was cash and credit cards being stolen with force.
Mechac Mukanu, 21, was accused of bashing a stranger with a baton in an unprovoked attack in trendy St Kilda
Mechac Mukanu (pictured) will remain free in the community after a magistrate granted him a good behaviour bond
On one occasion the brazen thug walked into an Altona Meadows bottle shop and left with more than a thousand dollars worth of booze.
When the shop attendant tried to stop him, Makuna and his mate lashed out, kicking him to the ground.
In another incident, Makuna helped with a jewellery heist and helped a mate steal a car from someone’s garage while they were still home.
It was during that heist police were forced to abandon pursuit after the stolen car he was a passenger in sped directly into oncoming traffic.
The maniacs clocked-up speeds of 130kmh in 60kmh zones during the getaway, which ended when the police helicopter followed them all the way home.
Makuna himself was also caught behind the wheel while a fraction over the legal limit during another illicit journey.
He didn’t even have a licence.
In arguing for Makuna not to be jailed, his lawyer claimed his client had now been reformed.
‘He’s had a complete transformation,’ the court was told.
It’s alleged Mukanu, 18, struck a man with an extendable baton in an unprovoked attack on the St Kilda foreshore on December 1
That transformation had come due to a law-abiding partner and a new job working in a warehouse while not rapping, the lawyer said.
Makuna had also been engaging with his youth justice supervisors despite Melbourne’s six Covid-19 lockdowns.
Makuna had made national headlines during what had been described as an ‘African crime wave’ in Melbourne before the pandemic struck.
It had been the same pandemic which saw Makuna’s sentence deferred for near on two years.
In showing Makuna mercy, Magistrate John Hardy suggested reporting of those incidents had been a media beat-up.
‘Thank goodness it’s subsided, but for a while there were a lot of politicians taking advantage of young African men behaving badly and creating a real fear in the community that in my view was unjustified about marauding African gangs.’ he said.
Mr Hardy warned Makuna that his poor behaviour reflected badly upon his entire community.
‘People say … it’s an African, no wonder he’s behaving like that. And you destroy the good standing of many people that have come here as bone fide and legitimate refugees leaving terrible circumstances,’ he said.
Mr Hardy accepted it was Makuna’s desire to improve himself over the past two years – and not Covid lockdowns – that had kept him largely out of trouble.
‘That’s a remarkable effort considering the offending that you were engaging in the six months or so leading up to the last of your offending,’ he said.
‘It tells me … that you can live a life without breaking the law and I hope that you find that life better.’
Makuna was convicted and sentenced to a two-year good behaviour bond and fined $2000.
He had already served 21 days in an adult jail over his latest offences.