He rose to fame through online comedy videos and his star has continued to shine despite him casting in vernacular playing the role of a flashy lady in a wig popularly known as Madam Platinum. He’s now the brand ambassador of Beta Bakers and Shanyel Tours and Travel among other brands. He spoke to GEORGE D. MWENDWA
When and how did your journey to comedy begin?
I used to do music back then. I could come up with hilarious lyrics and many times due to this, my friends would tell me that I would be fit being a comedian. I didn’t know how well to approach the whole issue until one day in the year 2014, at the Kenya National Theatre I met another friend in the comedy industry who encouraged me to try doing Kamba comedy.
Growing up were you always funny and is this what you’ve always wanted to do?
I would say that I was the family’s comedian! I would crack jokes mostly after supper when am well fed. I won’t say that it is what I wanted to do because I was one serious fellow who had the dreams of becoming a pilot or a doctor as it’s any child’s dream; “a big job”
How was it daring the untapped market of casting in vernacular?
For me I saw an opportunity. We have many people who want to be entertained in their vernacular as this makes them have that unique connection with their backgrounds. So, for me venturing into vernacular comedy got me feeling so much accomplished. And true to this, my content was embraced far and wide!
Doesn’t vernacular limit you to a certain community? Ever thought of going into English or Swahili for a wider reach?
I won’t say that it limits but rather motivates me to think really deep on how to come up with content that though done in vernacular, a person from other tribes can follow. There are many ways of bringing out a character, other than the words I use, I tend to focus on facial expressions so much as this is a non-verbal mode of communication that can make quite a difference as far as my reach is concerned.
I have no plans switching to Swahili or English since I began there before going vernacular and it never worked for me as it has worked me like most comedians. Therefore, the best I can do is add English subtitles to my content so as to reach other tribes.
Why online comedy and not stand-up comedy like everyone else tends to go?
My objective was to reach many people at once and also the modalities in my approach perfectly suit online comedy more than stand-up comedy. Again, anyone intending to follow my jokes from the point I began can always refer to my first video online.
What are the hardest setbacks you’d point out along the path to stardom?
I would say that the most challenging setback is negative energy from people who do not believe in what you are trying to venture into. This leads to self-doubt which can be so detrimental to this career.
Can you recall your big break and how it came about?
There is this silly video I did back in 2017 where I acted as that silly guy who would never believe anything said to him until he practically witnesses thus, I ended up eating poop. It was a 30 seconds video only and it went viral. This changed my story and fame came in knocking. (Laughs)
Is this venture rewarding enough?
Yes, it is rewarding enough. Through my comedy I have managed to sign a number of advertising deals among them being the brand ambassador of Shanyel Tours & Travels as well as Beta Bakers LTD.
Worth noting also, through comedy I have managed to attract a good following on my social media platforms adding great value to my job as an MC. I have emceed over 60 weddings and quite a number of corporate gigs.
Is comedy your forte?
I would say that I am holistically an entertainer. From entertainment I have been able to establish several other businesses.
What are you doing with your brand to ensure that you send the elevator down?
I have guys in comedy and emceeing that I am working with and mentoring to ensure that they get to identify a niche of their own. I am happy they are coming up nicely. Still I will reach out for more. The cake is too big, I can’t finish it alone.
Did your parents support your venture rather did they believe that you could earn a living online?
They have been supportive since day one!
Do you get people getting offended by your character when you take the role of Madam Platinum? Do you get confused for transgender and how do you handle this?
(Chuckles) Yes quite a lot! Some people never believe that I am just a man trying to be creative in a lady like manner to earn a dime. They say there is more to it than meets the eye, but to me my lady character is just a character I wear for the screens and not in real life!