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Comedian Mzee Kihenjo: A Journey From Roast Maize Vendor To Radio Star

Mzee Kihenjo, also known as Joel Mungai, has become a household name in Kenya. From humble beginnings as a roadside roast maize seller, he has risen to prominence as a top comedian and radio presenter at Kameme FM. With over twenty-five years in the entertainment industry, the funnyman has captivated audiences with his unique style and relatable comedy.

Here is his story as documented by WoK.

The Birth of a Comedic Icon

His journey to success has been marked by hard work and perseverance. Starting out as a roast maize seller, he gradually transitioned into performing comedy on the streets and selling his CDs.

His trademark look, with a chalked beard and tattered clothes, made him stand out and garner attention.

Early Career Before Fame

During a previous conversation with Muthoni Wa Kirumba, Kihenjo shared amusing anecdotes about his early years, which were filled with difficulties, ridicule, and financial hardships.

He fondly recalled the days when he and his friend Njaga would perform small gigs at local clubs, earning meager amounts of money. This period was far from easy, as they faced numerous skeptics who failed to appreciate their comedic talents and theatrical performances.

Kihenjo humorously recounted instances where they were not warmly received and even chased away during their skits. In a particularly memorable incident, the owner of a restaurant where they had performed became so displeased with their request for payment that he resorted to brandishing a gun, albeit in a comically polite manner.

On Joining Kameme FM

After overcoming those initial challenges, Kihenjo’s fortunes took a turn when he caught the attention of Peninah Muthoni Mbugua, popularly known as PM Squared, a veteran radio host.

She approached him with a job opportunity at Kameme FM, but initially, Kihenjo declined the offer. However, PM Squared persisted, recognizing his talent, and eventually convinced him to give it a try.

Little did he know that his journey at the radio station would be filled with ups and downs. He experienced a series of being hired and fired, only to be rehired again.

During the times when he was not on the radio, Kihenjo returned to his roots, performing street comedy and taking up casual jobs such as clearing hedges to make ends meet.

He was rehired to host alongside Gatonye Wa Mbugua in the show ‘Ma-Watchmen’ and later fired as he narrates in his conversation.

The Canjamuka Show

Mzee Kihenjo’s big breakthrough came with the creation of the popular comedy show, “Njugwa ya Kihenjo.” Airing on Kameme FM, the show has resonated with a wide audience, establishing Mzee Kihenjo as a leading figure in Kikuyu comedy.

Kihenjo quickly established himself as a prominent radio presenter at Kameme FM, where he co-hosted the popular mid-morning show called Canjamuka alongside Muthoni Wa Kirumba. This entertaining show graced the airwaves from Monday to Friday, bringing joy and laughter to their loyal listeners.

Evolving with the Times

Over the years, Mzee Kihenjo has adapted to changing trends in comedy. Initially known for his portrayal of a village grandfather in rugged attire, he has evolved his comedic style to cater to both young and old audiences.

Through research and innovation, he continues to deliver fresh and engaging content that keeps his followers entertained.

A Testimony of Endurance

Staying relevant in the entertainment industry for over twenty-five years is no small feat. Mzee Kihenjo’s ability to make people laugh and connect with his audience has ensured his longevity in the field. His relatable content and comedic prowess have solidified his position as one of the most respected comedians in Kenya.

Keeping Family Life Private

Despite his public persona, Mzee Kihenjo prefers to keep his personal life out of the limelight. He has maintained a private stance on his marital status, wife, and children. Fans may recognize his comedy wife, “Majangwa,” from his radio shows, but little is known about his real-life family.

Diversifying Income Streams

Mzee Kihenjo’s success extends beyond radio and comedy shows. He has embraced social media platforms and has garnered over three million views on YouTube and more than one million followers across his social media channels.

Additionally, he engages in social media influencing, promoting various businesses, and earns income through emceeing and comedy performances.

The Next Chapter

After parting ways with Kameme FM earlier this year, Mzee Kihenjo has kept his fans guessing about his next move. Speculations of a potential move to Radio Africa’s Gukena FM surfaced, but no official announcement has been made.

However, Kihenjo recently made a long anticipated return to the airwaves alongside Wakarindi wa Ndithi at Muoroto FM, where they host the midday show “Kenga Kenga.”

A Legacy of Laughter

Mzee Kihenjo’s impact on the comedy scene in Kenya cannot be overstated. His ability to connect with diverse audiences and deliver humor that transcends generations has endeared him to fans nationwide.

Through his talent and resilience, he has become an inspiration for aspiring comedians and a testament to the power of perseverance and passion.