By Prudence Minayo
“Comedy is a necessity to get through life with the fewest scars. Humor is the best antidote to help relieve all struggles” Suzy Kassem
Comedy is an interesting piece of art that sometimes explores real life situations in a humorous way which is what Comedian Njoro had perfected. The funnyman made a name for himself on the Churchill show before he exited and was almost forgotten until his plight was shared on social media platform by fellow comedian Zeddy. Before his fall to the shackles of depression, the comedian is best remembered for taking situations from real life experiences and turning them into comedy.
This article takes a look at his life journey, life as a comedian and his struggle with depression.
Comedian Njoro’s real name is George Maina Njoroge.
He attended Millimani Primary School and Moi Secondary School both in Nakuru county. Njoro then went to Nairobi to pursue a course in journalism at Magenta Training Institute.
Njoro is a second born in a family of 5 children. His mother Jacinta Wahu was a tomato seller while his father Charles Maina was a casual laborer in construction sites, therefore, life was not easy.
“ I was born and raised in an area called London where our house rent was a meagre Sh300 but my family was always locked out due to lack of rent. On top of this, my primary school fee was Sh300, but I would often be sent home because we could not pay. My mother Jacinta Wahu sold tomatoes while my dad, a casual laborer at a construction site struggled hard to take care of the five of us,” he said in an interview published by The Standard.
As he pursued a course in journalism, life was still not easy. He was often in and out of school due to lack of school fees, as he revealed in a past interview with KTN. He worked as a mjengo guy (construction worker) to try and eke out a living while staying in Huruma slums. It was during this time that those around him told him to try out for Churchill Show auditions as he was a very funny man.
When those around him kept on telling him he was funny, Njoro decided to audition for Churchill show. In an interview with KTN back in 2014, he said he did not succeed the first time he auditioned. At the time, he found a creative director called Victor Ber who laughed while he was saying his jokes only to turn him down in the end. The director told him he was not funny and he should go back and continue with the other things he was doing.
The rejection did not deter him. Rather he kept on going for audition after audition as he has revealed on interviews with both KTN and Citizen TV. He was finally given a chance to perform which did not go so well. He prepared for it at night but the following day when he stood in front of the audience, nerves got the better of him. He was on stage for five minutes and did nothing but kept on greeting the audience while trying to remember his jokes to no avail. This proved the director right and he was sent away.
The comedian was not willing to give up even after this failure. He went back and was given another chance and finally he aced it. This provided him with a platform to finally express himself and get the means to earn a living. He revealed to Willis Raburu on Citizen TV’s Power Breakfast back in 2016 that the earnings from comedy were enough to get him through life. Yes, it wasn’t a whole lot of money but it was enough to provide him a comfortable life.
George Maina has said in a few interviews that the inspiration for his jokes are drawn from his dad’s character and also real life situations.
“ I write about my life experiences, things that interest me in relation to Kiambu, where I live. If an unusual set of circumstances arises or I learn something that I can’t stop thinking about, chances are I will try to write a joke about it. My father’s funny side of life is my second inspiration. He is one person who has always been real and funny at the same time,” revealed the comedian 4 years ago in an interview with The Standard.
His experience in getting a chance to perform at Churchill inspires other people not to give up on their dreams even if they are rejected severally. He also advised other comedians not to be lazy by saying other people’s jokes. Njoro also advised up coming comedians to put God first in whatever they do.
“To put God first, in whatever they do. Use prayer as their weapon besides having self-belief, hard work, patience and determination to succeed,” he said on The Standard.
In 2020, especially after comedian Kasee’s death, a lot has emerged about Kenyan comedians sinking into depression with nowhere to turn too.
Njoro has also revealed his struggle with depression and attempt to take his life three times. In a video that was highly circulated, he revealed to fellow comedian Zainabu Zeddy how he has battled with depression.
“ I have tried to take my own life three times but by some miracle I failed in all my attempts. It must be God’s plan but truth be told, I am not well at all,” recounted the comedian.
Njoro revealed that he lost everything and friends were not willing to help and on top of that his father was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He finished by saying that access to a psychologist and a job could really help him at this time.