By Prudence Minayo
With a lot of young people keen on creating content, finding one’s niche is key and this is what Arap Uria discovered early in his career. Believing in his dreams, he took up a phone and began recording a number of videos which he would later post online.
Little did he know that three years down the line, his videos would attract millions of views and YouTube would become his source of income plus many endorsements from companies.
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Through his act, the funnyman who gained fame from mimicking well-known football commentators will be travelling to Qatar to watch the Fifa World Cup.
Here is his story as told by WoK.
He is 26 years old.
His name is Meshack Kiprop Biwott.
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The YouTuber was born in a village known as Kamauwa in Moiben Constituency, Uasin Gishu county. He attended primary school in Mutei before attending two other high schools and finally completing his high school education at Tambach.
Arap Uria then proceeded to Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology and pursued a Bachelor’s degree in education. He took up Mathematics and Geography and graduated in 2019.
Uria is his family name and his character draws inspiration from his grandfather. He first started out doing comedy clips where he’d act as a drunkard. The clips were majorly done in his mother tongue.
This displeased his father greatly as he is a staunch Christian who believed that character was all wrong. Nonetheless, his mother encouraged him to pursue what he loved. Later, his father came on board especially after seeing the amazing reception he was receiving.
Starting out was not easy. He had very few subscribers and his views were extremely low. This did not deter him and anytime he’d get someone’s phone he would make sure to subscribe to his channel.
He would also use his father’s phone to send links to the different groups his father was in. Afterwards, he’d delete the messages so his father does not get wind of what he was upto. Others said he wouldn’t go anywhere and waited for him to fail.
The determined young man was willing to continue until he succeeded. Finally, he got an idea to begin mimicking popular personalities. He did mimicry of people like the deputy president William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga.
People loved how he did it. His facial expressions, attire and attention to detail was mind boggling. He’d stay up all night and practice on a particular speech by a personality until he memorized it all. The next day he’d shoot and post the video.
He then got the idea to do one on a sports commentator since lots of people love football. He began by doing one on Martin Taylor before proceeding to do the other on Peter Drury. The Peter Drury commentary drew lots of viewers and increased his subscribers.
The reception to his videos blew his mind away. His fan base grew beyond the borders of Kenya and he’d get encouraging messages from places like Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa and Senegal.
Today, his subscriber base has grown to over 260,000 with about three of his videos gaining more than a million views. Thanks to hard work and a lot of persistence, he is now able to say that comedy indeed pays. One of his euphoria moments occurred when his video was tweeted by Jim Berkeley. He commented that he loved the mugs.
Apart from mimicking football commentaries, he also does some videos on Facebook with his friend who goes by the stage name Gogo Smallz. He plays the role of his wife in the videos.
In his comedy journey, he thanks God, the people who supported him when he was starting out and his fans.