Standup Comedy was a foreign concept in Kenya until Daniel Ndambuki, popularly known by his stage name Churchill, happened. And it’s through Churchill that Eric Omondi happened, and many other A list comedians after him.
The standup act in a past interview credited his success to the platform given to him by the Churchill on the hugely popular Churchill Show then aired on NTV. The two have maintained a good relationship even after Eric left the show to run his own projects.
This article will take you through Eric Omondi early life, his achievements and his net worth.
Eric Omondi was born on March 9, 1982.
The 41 year old spent his formative years in Kondele and was a pupil at Kondele Primary school (form class 1 to class 3) before his parents moved him to Lake Primary school. According to the comedian, he used to suck his thumb and once peed on himself while in school.
This dented his self esteem prompting his parents to move him to Lake Primary school. In a past interview, Fred Omondi spoke fondly of his brother mischief and how he would wiggle out of disciplinary situations by disarming his parents with a joke.
He recited a poem in school that was a hit with parents leaving no doubt that he was headed to the big stage.
The funny man lost his mom in 2004. His father died from a heart attack while he was still a kid. Eric Omondi revealed early this year that his dad was a police inspector and OCS based in Kisumu. Death also robbed the comedian his elder brother Joseph Omondi. Asked by The Standard journalist Rose Kwamboka if he feared death, he retorted:
“I do not fear death. I have lost both parents, my grandparents and recently my brother. No one should fear death, it happens to all of us.”
His other siblings are fellow comedian Fred Omondi, Rose Omondi, Irene Omondi and Pollate Omondi.
Eric Omondi life was seemingly confined in Kisumu. After sitting for his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination, the comedian was admitted at Kisumu Boys. High school shaped and honed his skills as a comedian.
His artistry was evident when he perfectly played a role of a woman, which he continues to do in his many skits on You Tube leaving his critic Cyprian Nyakundi questioning his sexuality.
Omondi moved to Nairobi for the first time in 2003 to join Daystar University for a 3 year course in Electronic Media. His ability to charm audiences saw him take up the role of an emcee-albeit self appointed. He graduated 7 years later after the university awarded him a full scholarship.
His journey to where he is today is credited to the father of standup comedy, Churchill. The two met in 2006 and exchanged numbers after Eric impressed in a gig he was performing. Two years later, Churchill called the ‘skinny’ comedian to inform him of what turned out to be an opportunity of a lifetime. His debut at the Churchil Show was not what he expected but he picked up fast and won the hearts of many.
Starring In His Own Show
After gaining traction in Churchill Show, Eric decided he was fit enough to star in his own show. ‘Hawayu’ happened. Kenyans were excited until the rubber hit the road. ‘Hawayu’ was a disaster and before we knew it, KTN had cancelled the show over poor ratings. He admitted that it was indeed one of his worst decisions:
“It was one of the worst ideas because I was young and I wasn’t ready. I think God gave me that opportunity intentionally to teach me a few things. But it was also one of the best things that ever happened to me because without it, I wouldn’t be where I’m today.
It changed everything and I learnt a lot. I understood Kenyans, production and comedy as a whole. It was a good lesson…”
After his experiment that took the fabled life of Simon Makonde came a cropper, Eric found himself between a rock and hard financial place. No corporate wanted to touch him. Shows ran dry and the small time gigs he got, paid him peanuts. His first car, a Toyota Allion, was auctioned. He had 7 months’ rent arrears to be precise. Like the prodigal son who had wandered to the unknown, Churchill was gracious enough to take him back.
The ever ambitious Eric left the Churchill once again. This time he was better prepared and the timing was right. He needed to give space to other acts and he had grand plans after his exit. His show “Eric Omondi Untamed” launched at the Villa Rosa targeting the high end market. It seemingly died a natural death as the comedian has taken to act on his YouTube channel.
Endorsements And How Much He Was Paid
Eric has made millions in endorsements alone. His paycheck for the two Airtel ad ‘Kuhama’ fetched him a cool kes1 million. But he says the highest amount he ever made for a single ad was kes750,000 as it did not include expense. He was also the ambassador of OLX (NOW jiji) and Kenya Wildlife Service Rhino ambassador. Ericko did another ad with Bonfire Safaris.
Eric Omondi has over 530,000 subscribers on You Tube and his videos have over 25 million views. His videos are probably generating lower income because of copyrighted materials as he usually does parody videos of popular songs.
He was named the 9th funniest man in Africa in 2015. This year, the comedian bagged the best African Comedian at the African Entertainment Awards USA (AEAUSA) held in New Jersey.
In an interview on YoungRich, Eric Omondi put his net worth at kes30 million making him one of the richest comedian in Kenya. That was 2013. Last year he was in the process of completing the construction of his apartments in Kisumu.
Eric Omondi name is synonymous with controversies. From staging arrests, to lying about owning a house, faking impregnating a celebrity to hosting a show dubbed wife material that got him in trouble with former KFCB boss Ezekiel Mutua. But it is most recent baby daddy drama that got Kenyans talking.
Eric was accused by Jacque Maribe of being a deadbeat dad after he posted a photo with a ‘pregnant’ Miss P captioned:
“I met this Beautiful Woman 5 months ago in an event I was hosting. Whatever happened and I promised her I would take every Responsibility. Children are a blessing from God,.
The former Citizen TV news anchor who shares a son with the funnyman wondered what ‘responsibility’ he was talking about when he had neglected his own son.
What was supposed to be a publicity stunt to promote Miss P new single turned ugly when Omondi questioned if he was the father of the child saying he had only had a one night stand with Maribe. He went on to state that Maribe was in a relationship with fellow journalist Sammy Ogina at the time.
The comedian told Radio Jambo Japanni Massawe that he had insisted on a DNA test to ascertain the paternity of the child but Maribe flatly refused. The issue was escalating fast forcing Bonfire Adventure founder to intervene. The two have since made peace with each other.