By Faith Nyambeki
Standup comedy in Kenya has grown in leaps and bounds thanks to Churchill Ndambuki. His show, aired every Sunday on NTV, has opened doors for hundreds of comedians including the duo of Mchungaji and Mtumishi. The two have effectively fused music and comedy in their performances, a first in Kenya. Here is their story.
How the two started out
The two were performers in different groups before they came together. In an interview on Nation, Mtumishi said he was impressed with Mchungaji’s performance during a Women’s Day celebration held at the Dagoretti’s DC’s office. He approached Mchungaji and asked him to join his group. In 2012, the dynamic duo registered for ‘Jipange competition’ as stand up comedians. They emerged number three in the finals held in Nakuru. With this milestone, their friends urged them to audition at the Churchill show.
It was not easy to make it to the big stage. Churchill is one of the biggest platforms every comedian desires and it was not any different for Kreative Generation. Mtumishi recounted how they walked to Carnivore for auditions and would spend the whole day on an empty stomach. But they did not lose hope. At first, they were three but the directors asked them to drop one member. Justin Kenyatta, who went by the name pastor, was the casualty.
The funnyman real name is Josephat Mchasia. The 31 year old Mchasia had a difficult life growing up and his only saving grace was comedy. The comedian recounted how his father abandoned them when he remarried after his mother passed away. The class two dropout was taken to his rural home by his step mother where he ended up working in a chang’aa distillery. He ended up in the streets of Kakamega before relocating to Nairobi to try his luck in comedy. Mchungaji performed in churches, crusades, weddings and the streets of Nairobi.
The comedian tied the knot to his longtime girlfriend Fridah Kathambi in a colorful ceremony attended by family and fellow comedians. Prior to the wedding, Mchungaji had proposed to Fridah live on K24 TV.
From crime to a comedian. Mtumishi, real name Gilbert Baraza, had a troubled upbringing after his parents went separate ways. He dropped out of school when he was in Form Two and opted to became a street boy. Having nothing to lose, he was introduced to the criminal world by a friend from Kangemi. The comedian and his partner in crime carried carjacking’s along the Waiyaki way. He recounts how they were arrested after trying to carjack a vehicle in Kiambu whose occupants were flying squad officers. They were released two days later.
He escaped to Mombasa and took a job as a watchman and later on worked as a supermarket attendant. When he came back to Nairobi, a friend introduced him to church. The two went on to form Kreative Generations.
Baraza is not all about making people laugh. He is an entrepreneur who owns a security firm known as Mtumishi Security ltd.
Together with his partner in comedy, they also own an events and entertainment company known as Bridge Africa Euro Events Limited.