By Prudence Minayo
Ondiek Nyuka Kwota, real name Hiram Mungai Ngigi, is a veteran Kenyan actor and comedian who is synonymous with the long-running TV drama “Vioja Mahakamani” aired on the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) every Friday. The sitcom was a must watch in the 1990s and early 2000s until the original cast left the show in a huff after being replaced with fresh blood. Ondiek effortlessly imitates the Luo accent that for a long time many thought he hailed from Nyanza county and not Central. The actor will definitely go down in history as one of the pioneer actors in Kenya.
With the ratings of the TV show on an all time low, the original cast composed of prosecutor (Gibson Mbugua), Makokha (Mathias Keya) and Olexander Josphat (Peter Sankale) was recalled after the national broadcaster relaunched. .
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The comedian is married to Beatrice and together they have three children: Dennis, Maureen and Esther.
The actor became a household name for playing a boisterous boss on Vioja Mahakamani. A drama that depicted court proceedings in a hilarious yet informative manner. He was also a cast member on the Vitimbi show alongside Mama Kayai, late Ojwang among other big names in the industry.
He was among the actors who quit Vioja after their Vitimbi counterparts were shown the door. According to Lucy Wangui, who played the judge, they left “when the cast of Vitimbi was told to leave due to their old age, we quit in solidarity as we are a family”.
KBC revamped the show with young blood, like, Nice Githinji and Dr. Ofweneke only for the ratings to plummet. Ondiek said that it was expected since they were the life of the program after so many years, what they could do nobody could duplicate. Exiting Vioja Mahakamani did not signify the end but a new beginning. Months after leaving, he together with his colleagues became part of a new show “Daktari” airing on KTN every Tuesday at 7:45p.m.
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Nyuka Kwota is the doctor and everyone’s boss in the show. He helps to secure jobs for many people. The show became one of Kenya’s most watched in 2019. The comedian is also part of the cast of Hullabaloo Estate, a hilarious drama on Maisha Magic East. He is the richest man in town and has a wife and a number of side women. He loves only one of them. In the estate, he throws his weight around but its hell on Earth back at home. His wife controls him to the extent of beating him.
Ties With the Late Former President Daniel Arap Moi
Vitimbi and Vioja Mahakamani actors were Moi’s darlings. They were always called to perform in national functions. In an interview with Radio Citizen, Hiram revealed that the late president’s handlers would always call them when he was having a bad day. They actually did not need an invitation to State House. The doors were always open to them. The actors never left the ex-president’s residence empty handed. The former Vioja Mahakamani actor further revealed that Moi made them Ambassadors of Arts and Culture making them part of the government’s payroll to date.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Campaign
The Daktari actor once revealed that he was one of President Uhuru’s campaigners back in 2002. Moi’s endorsement of Uhuru clinched his decision to support him. The actor was very disappointed when Uhuru Kenyatta conceded defeat. Until the last moment, he still thought it was a joke and that Moi will play a final card to make Uhuru president. However, it did not happen and Mwai Kibaki became the 3 rd president of the Republic of Kenya.
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