Kenyans were introduced to homemade standup comedy by Daniel Ndambuki, popularly known as Churchill. The local scene was dominated by the likes of Ojwang’ of Vitimbi-may his soul rest in peace, Vioja Mahakamani, sitcoms that made the 90s bearable. The tide changed in the late 90s when the trio of John Kiarie, Tony Njuguna and Walter Mongare-collectively known as Redykyulass-happened. They became an overnight sensation thanks to impersonating hitherto bigger than life politicians-including then President Daniel arap Moi. Redykykulass was aired on KTN drawing massive viewership. The group fizzled out without as much as a ‘bye’.
Then Churchill happened, a protégé of Redykykullass.
Daniel Ndambuki aka Churchill
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Funny man Churchill is a household name in Kenya whose brand of comedy is fused with interviews of celebrities and politicians. The comedian, through Churchill Show and Churchill Raw, has nurtured quite a number of acts who have since launched their solo successful careers. A case in point is Eric Omondi. The comedian has in the past had his own shows and is a brand ambassador for a number of business enterprises. He also runs his own YouTube channel. Another comedian who used Churchill Show as a springboard for his career progression is Chipukeezy who has a show on Ebru TV. Dr Ofweneke horned his skills at the show before joining Ebru then KTN with his ‘Dr Ofweneke Tonight Live’ show. Eddie Butita is another good example of what can come out of Churchill.
Other acts have benefited from doing commercials for companies.
Reports of Underpaying comedians
Comedian Rapcha Sayantist has no kind for Churchill. He brought up the hushed topic of poor pay among Churchill Show comedians when Emmanuel Makori Nyambane aka Ayeiya Poa Poa passed on. His first, in a series of salvos aimed at Churchill, read: “I’ll say this again every comedian that performs at Churchill show will die poor, mark this tweet….imeniuma kaa kutairi,” read his tweet. The comedian criticized the oft used ‘platform’ excuse for ‘exploiting’ comedians: “Nimetuma 10k kwa hio account but AKA alikua worth millions, rest in peace but pesa yako ungepewa ukiwa alive…platform my ass….” (I have contributed kes10,000 for your funeral expenses, but AKA was worth millions. They should have given you your money while you were still alive….” the tirade continued. Rapcha claimed that Churchill pays comedians who appear on his show a paltry kes4,000 per month. “4 gs…per month, nilisema afadhali nipige show jevagee (Jevanjee)”. Even with this claims-true or false-, you cannot deny Churchill role in promoting comedy in Kenya.
The Churchill show has come under prolonged criticism of late for what some see as lack of creativity. The show has been bashed for having comedians who only thrive on stereotypical and ethnic jokes. Responding to the criticism in an interactive segment on Daily Nation from readers, Churchill said:
Comedy talks about your surroundings. You cannot talk about an Eskimo and you’ve never seen one. We strive to see the lighter side of life.
Cost of Production Of Churchill Show
Production of one episode of Churchill Show aired on NTV every Sunday from 8pm to 9pm and Churchill Raw every Thursday is kes1.5 million. This is covered by the broadcaster. A survey conducted by GeoPoll-which collects daily data on TV and radio audience size- in 2014, showed Churchill Show to be the most popular show on NTV with an average of 1.95 million viewers each Sunday.
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Entry of the live recording of the show at the Carnivore restaurant is kes1,000 and Kes500 for VIP and regular respectively. But it gets expensive when the show goes to the counties. The county edition in Kitui, for example, will cost the county kes20 million. That includes a two day rugby tournament.
Co-host at Classic 105 FM-Salary kes1 million
The morning show with veteran radio host Maina Kageni is one of the most popular morning talk shows in Kenya. Churchil, known as Mwalimu Kingangi in classic FM morning show, is witty, fresh and his humor is on another level. According to SDE, Churchil is paid Sh1 million before taxes but his exact salary is Sh380,248.
The Laugh Industry
This is a multi-million business venture. The shows are:
Ultimate Comed-Maisha Magic East Reality Show
So what is the net worth of Daniel Ndambuki aka Churchill?
Churchill monthly pay (from his various shows) is estimated at kes1.2 million. His net worth is placed at more than kes50 million.
Interesting fact about Churchill
Date of Birth: October, 30, 1977
He is married, the couple have a son
Student at Mumbuni High School, Machakos
Won over 30 awards
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