By Prudence Minayo
Many people refer to Patrick Oketch as Charlie thanks to the role he played on Citizen TV drama series Mother-in-law. He is one of the pioneer actors of the program and has been at it for more than a decade. He played the role of a stubborn drunkard from a rich family whose life was filled with drama.
The actor’s on screen wife was Catherine Kamau and the couple had a daughter named Olive, a character that was played by Ida Wanyoike.
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Here is his story as told by WoK.
The prolific actor was born in 1984 in the slums of Mathare. He is 39 years old this year (2023).
In 1987, his family relocated to an area in Eastleigh called Madiwa. He was born in a family of five boys. They lost their father in 1991, when Patrick was just 7. Their single mother had to struggle to fend for her children singlehandedly.Life was not easy as they often went without meals.
Also Read: Mother in Law Actor Charity Mwamba Biography, Real Name, Age, Family, Marriage and Career
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After high school, he was unable to join university. He missed the slot by just one point, something that was very disheartening for him. He had to watch sorrowfully as his friends attended university and came back with new styles.
First, he sought employment as a tout but found the job tiring. Next, he worked as a construction (mjengo) worker. Finally, he was enrolled at a teachers training college which was paid for by his aunt.
“I decided to be a tout, but it was too demanding. Waking up every day to shout, “Tao! Tao! Tao!” was just too much. I later got a job at a mjengo. Since I saw no hope in studying, I never went back to school.
My younger brother applied for me to join a teachers training college which my aunt graciously offered to sponsor. So, I enrolled to train as a teacher, though my heart was not in it. I later became a P1 teacher at Thogoto, before landing a teaching job in Soweto slums, earning Sh3,000 per month”, He told the Standard.
However, he did not see himself pursuing a career in teaching indefinitely. Later in life, Charlie would pursue a degree in film and theatre arts at Kenyatta University.
The actor worked in Thogoto as a P1 teacher. He then got another teaching job in Soweto slums. His salary was a meager Ksh3,000 monthly.
In 2007, he quit the teaching job and decided to pursue a career in the arts. Oketch loved writing. In fact, while in high school he would write letters to his peers’ girlfriends in exchange for Ksh20.
The actor proceeded to Kenya National Theatre where he was fortunate to meet comedian Jalang’o. He explained his love for writing. The comedian handed him a script and asked him to translate it to Dholuo. In two days, he was done with translating the play titled Mayie Love. He earned Ksh5,000 for the first time ever.
The determined young man would then audition for a number of commercials and films. He even got the chance to work at Tahidi High.
Unfortunately, he was fired after just three episodes. The gods of fortune finally smiled at him when he got a call to play the role of Charlie in Mother-in-law. This ended up being his big break.
He not only got to earn more money but he was also given the chance to write scripts. He wrote scripts for a year without receiving any credits but this did not discourage him.
Charlie then began getting paid for both script writing and acting. He also began receiving credits for his scripts.
Apart from Mother-in-law, he has participated in other films:
- The Captain of Nakara in 2012
- Sticking Ribbons in 2013
- Intellectual Scum and Kaze ni Tatsu Lion in 2015
He has also worked as a script editor for MaEmpress on Maisha Magic East.
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The multi-talented TV man married the love of his life, Judith Ogaya, five years ago in a green and white themed wedding ceremony.
The ceremony was graced by some of his famous colleagues in the acting industry including Faith Nyaga (Lisa), Catherine Kamau and Philip Karanja. He once in a while shares details of his family on social media. He is a father to one son and a daughter.
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Recently, he also said that his Facebook account had been hacked. He asked Kenyans to help report the hackers, who went live on his account.
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