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I Scored A- In KCSE, Ended Up Being Employed As A Watchman – The Inspiring Story Of 2mbili

If you are familiar with Kenya’s stand-up comedy scene, then there is no doubt that you have heard of 2mbili. Since his debut into the comedy industry a few years back, he has become a key figure in that community.

Having survived the rough life of being an IDP (Internally Displaced Person) to the cruel life of being a streetchild, 2mbili has managed to create a name for himself. Now, he has put together his own comedy YouTube channel, 2mbili TV, where he often uploads highly engaging videos.

WoK recently had a chat with 2mbili about his comedy journey and how he came to be in a position to headline his own show-the hugely popular Celeb Ride. Read on to find out more.

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is 2mbili. I am a stand-up comedian, a parent, a content creator and a TV and radio host.

Most of us got to hear about you during the pandemic. How was that experience for you?

The pandemic was kind of a blessing in disguise for me. I used to do virtual show and stand-up shows and we used to receive tips from our audience. I also did a bit of TV and radio hosting as well. The pandemic opened a lot of doors for me to expand my creativity.

I was also able to open my YouTube channel that is currently doing very well. I am very grateful for the traction we have gained since we started the show. I began it as a trial at first, but I am grateful that the reception has been good.

Before my success in this field, I was dejected and very poor. Despite scoring an A- in my KCSE, I ended up doing odd jobs, becoming a watchman and even living as a streetkid. I am most grateful that despite all this I was able to find my way and create a meaningful life for myself and my family.

You seem to have a very good relationship with ex-comedian Jalang’o. Tell us about that.

My relationship with Jalang’o is a very good one; I take him as an elder brother. I remember vowing to sell of my kidneys to help fund his campaign.

When I was poor, I used to look for him for assistance when he was working at Milele FM and he always came through for him. For that I am very grateful.

How has the journey been for you as a comedian in Kenya?

It has not been easy, especially in the beginning when we used to rely on other people’s shows to make ends meet. But now I think the industry has completely changed. Now almost every comedian, if not all, has a YouTube channel where they put out their content. This has helped all of us to create a community around our content because I think all of us have a unique style of comedy delivery.

Stand-up comedy however is losing its grip. There are no longer as much stand-up comedy events in the country and a number of comedians have focused on other forms of comedy like acting.

What is your advice for young people trying to make it?

First of all, I live to survive. I take care of my needs and the needs of my family with what I have at the moment. I would advice young people to not succumb to societal pressure or online pressure from their peers who are presumed to make alot of  money Personally, I pay rent for four households. I cannot start to compare myself with people just to show off online. My advice is live with what you have as you work to where you want to be.