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Alliwah David: The Man Who Nurtured Awinja And Jalang’o, Gave Him A Place To Sleep When He Was Evicted For Not Paying Rent

  • Alliwah David is the founder and CEO of Theatrix Arts Ensemble 
  • He is a renowned actor, stage and screen director, dancer, musician and entrepreneur

When it comes to the set books, one man has stood the test of time and continues to offer quality acting through his ensemble. Having been in the industry for more than two decades, Alliwah David is a set book acting guru whose outfit has mentored some of the top talents in the industry.

A few of the top names that started their careers at his group, Theatrix Arts Ensemble are: Jalang’o, Jacky Vicke, Nick Kwach, Sleepy David and Sammy Kioko

Here is his story as told by WoK,

Background 

He was born at Pumwani Hospital Nairobi and lived in Buruburu, Kayole then Nairobi West. The actor attended Rabai Road Primary School in the city for a while.

It became hard for his mother to support them and she sent them to his father in Kisumu. He then studied there and in other places like Kisii before returning to Nairobi. His mum died of cancer in 1996. 

Acting 

After high school, he couldn’t go to college immediately but would later joined a Bible school.

The thespian then began doing stage performances with groups like Heartstrings Kenya and Phoenix.

In 2002, they came together with the likes of Jacky Nyaminde and Kazungu Matano to form a group called The Kenya Artist Coalition, that performed set books. The group disintegrated due to disagreements.

In 2004, he founded what is now called Theatrix Arts Ensemble and Jalang’o was among his first cast. The group started marketing their services and performing in schools.

The pay was very little and they encountered a number of challenges as traveling actors. One of the areas where they found a good market was Kisii, since the area did not have such actors at the time. 

Despite being the boss, the earnings were little and he lived in a slum in Lang’ata. At one point, he even lived with Jalang’o after the member of parliament was kicked out of his house due to rent arrears. 

To date, the group still does set books. He believes what made them stand out was their professionalism and passion. In a recent interview, he said the problem with people today is that they are after money and lack passion. According to him, when one is passionate about doing their work, money will follow.

Apart from set books, he has also appeared as a host at Edu TV and is a stage director. He also got the role of prosecutor on Vioja Mahakamani and got featured on Selina .

Alliwah David is also a gospel musician who has several albums to his name. He released his first album in 2002 and it featured stars, like, Terryanne Chebet. 

In October 2022, president William Ruto conferred him with the Head of State Commendation (HSC) for his contribution towards the arts landscape. 

Forgiving his father 

The decorated actor and his two younger siblings, a brother and a sister grew up without the support of their father and to an extent mother.

While speaking to Cheptoek Boyo, he recalled a time when his mother was very sick. She had separated with his father but asked him to go sign some documents so she could go for an operation.

When he came, David heard him tell his mother to go die with her God. This hurt him long after she was gone and he felt it was his fault.

The father was also absent from his life and the two reconnected when he was an adult. The father didn’t even know who he was until he was told his name.

Since he got saved, he forgave him but they never had a bond. The seasoned actor also urged his siblings to forgive him and he helped take care of him in his last days.

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