By Isaac Blessings
Comedy in Kenya doesn’t pay that much as compared to other countries where art is appreciated. However, we’ve seen Kenyan comedians investing in other businesses and are making a tidy sum thanks to their popularity which helps in driving sales.
In this article, WoK takes a look at the businesses owned by famous Kenyan comedians.
Daniel Ndambuki alias Mwalimu Churchill is commonly regarded as the father and pioneer of stand-up comedy in the country. He hosts the famous Churchill Show which currently airs on TV47 and has produced some of the great comedy talents in the country including Eric Omondi, Butita, Chipukeezy, Mammito among many others. Apart from running the show and being a radio presenter, the comedian owns the Laugh Industry – an events and sound company as well as Pavilion XV – a multi-million night club and resort located in Kitengela.
Vincent Mwasya alias Chipukeezy is a Kenyan comedian who began his career at the peak of the Churchill show. He gained popularity through the show and was later appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta as a vice chair of the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA). Apart from the job and running the now defunct Chipukeezy show, the comedian owns a private primary school in his home village of Tala, Machakos County. The school is known as St. Martins De Porres primary school.
Nickson Chege alias Kartelo is a Kenyan comedian who gained popularity through his online short clips done in the sheng. The comedian was introduced to the public domain by Chipukeezy during the Chipukeezy Show which aired on Ebru TV and later TV47. Kenyans couldn’t get enough of him and within no time he was made the co-host of the popular show. After the closure of the show, Kartelo continued with his comedy career online through his instagram page which has over 249,000 followers and YouTube channel that has over 84,000 subscribers. The comedian owns Rieng Radio as well as a recording studio in Matopeni, Kayole.
David Oyando alias Mulamwah is a Kenyan comedian who gained popularity through making funny short clips explaining how village life is and the videos ended up going viral online. He became very popular online within a short period of time gaining over 461,000 followers on instagram and over 366,000 followers on twitter. The comedian has invested heavily in the bodaboda business back in his rural home of Kitale, Trans Nzoia County. In a recent interview with Mwalimu Churchill, the funnyman revealed that he currently owns 15 motorcycles and will be increasing the number very soon.
Eddie Butita is a Kenyan stand-up comedian who became popular through the Churchill Show. After leaving the show, Butita began a career as an actor, theatre director and scriptwriter. The comedian is the founder and owner of Stage Presence Media famously known as SPM Buzz. SPM Buzz is a media entity offering platforms for young creatives in terms of acting, videography, TV Hosting, radio shows and podcasts. The SPM Buzz YouTube channel that documents social issues, trending topics and news has grown to have over 59,000 subscribers.
Kennedy Odhiambo alias Crazy Kennar is a Kenyan comedian who made a name for himself through making hilarious short clips online. The videos titled ‘Tales of Crazy Kennar’ on YouTube are very popular with Kenyans. His online presence grew fast gaining over 720,000 followers on instagram and 498,000 subscribers on YouTube where he shares his content. Apart from having a successful career online, the comedian owns a restaurant in Juja known as Instant Delicacies as well as an app known as Kazi app which mainly connects young people to opportunities.
Felix Odiwuor alias Jalango is one of the most successful comedians in the country. The comedian made a name for himself through the now defunct Papa Shirandula drama series that aired on Citizen TV. After leaving the show, the comedian went on an eventful career having worked in almost all major radio stations. The comedian is the owner of Arena Media – an events company famous for hosting the Luo festival, trippygo safaris – a tours and travel company, a website blog known as Jalangotv.com and a YouTube channel under the name Jalango TV which has more than half a million subscribers.
Abel Mutua is a Kenyan comedian who began his career at the Kenya National Theatre before making a big name for himself at the Real Househelps of Kawangware (TRHK). While at TRHK, he worked as a screenwriter writing jokes for the actors and is credited to have steered the show to its major success. The comedian is the co-founder of Philit productions – a TV and movies production company. He also runs a YouTube channel under his name where he tells funny stories and has garnered over 263,000 subscribers.