The name Charles Bukeko doesn’t ring a bell until you replace it with Papa Shirandula. He is a big name in Kenya sitcom; and his tentacles extend to beyond the shores of Africa. The actor (who has a hugely successful program by the same name) following in South Africa can easily rival his fan base in Kenya. This is replicated in Mauritius were the country’s Head of State invites him for dinner and the story doesn’t end there. Fully armed security guards sweep his room to ensure it is just safe. And this writer did not make this up; here is what the actor said the Mauritius visit:
“They had four fully armed, private security guys in shades and suits, and before I checked into my room, they had sniffer dogs check out if the room was safe..” Plus an armed man was stationed in his room-this kind of reception is only accorded to world leaders in Kenya.
So what’s the net worth of Charles Bukeko popularly known as Papa Shirandula or simply Papa?
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Starting Out In The Entertainment Industry
In a 2009 interview with a leading daily, Papa Shirandula gave an account of how he had to hustle his way up to the apex of his career. He had to walk from Eastlands to Nairobi CBD just to save kes10 fare. That was the hustle. And he his entry in the tumultous acting arena was purely accidental.
His acting career would not have taken off if actors in a production he was assisting a friend organize failed to show up. He was forced to take to the stage to save the day. And life wasn’t any easy as he had to ask his mother to send him food from his rural home that would last him for months. Acting was taking root and he would wake up at 3am to rehearse his lines. Before Papa Shirandula happened, Mr Bukeko would do voice over for radio although getting paid was another thing altogether. His first big pay cheque was kes30,000.
Meeting James Falkland
His career took a turn for the better when he met the founder of Phoenix Players James Falkland who nurtured him to what he has become. He trained him for two years without pay and opened his eyes to production.
Related Article: Papa Shirandula’s Actor Njoro Net Worth
The Birth Of Papa Shirandula
Mr Bukeko interested Royal Media Services managing director Wachira Waruru when he played a security guard in Bob Nyanja’s 2006 film, Malooned. The MD proposed to the actor to develop a character around the watchman for a TV series. The show turned out to be very popular across the country at a time local productions were not taken seriously. Papa Shirandula said of the inception of the show:
“Local productions were still a big No, and I remember Waruru saying that we take a risk and see how it would turn out, and that is how Papa Shirandula was born…”
Papa Shirandula makes an estimated kes200,000 per month for playing the main act and production of the sitcom that airs every Monday on Citizen TV.
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Coca Cola Advert In Indonesia
This is where the big money is and it’s every actors dream to be considered to endorse a product. And Papa has a think with attracting multinational billionaire profit making companies. Let’s start with Coca Cola. Bukeko became a household name worldwide when he appeared in the popular Coke advert ‘Cola Brrr! advert’ in 2001. Mr Bukeko made upwards of kes15 million from the video alone.
Vodacom In South Africa
He played the brutal Uganda dictator Idi Amin in the Vodacom advert. The South African ad was well received elevating Papa to celebrity status in Kenya. From this ad, the actor made upwards of kes10 million.
He made a tidy sum from this ad that is also estimated at more than kes10 million.
He has appeared on many other commercials.
Papa Shirandula Net Worth
Our estimates place Papa Shirandula net worth at a conservative kes50 million.
Other interesting facts about Papa Shirandula
He is married to Beatrice Ebbie Andega
The couple is blessed with three children-three children Tony, Charlie and Wendy
First born in a family of four
He attended Jogoo Road Primary School and Upper Hill Secondary
Movies he has played:
Best Actor in Papa Shirandula Best Comedy Category.
Papa Shirandula Death
News that Papa Shirandula passed on left many in total shock. According to his family, the funnyman had travelled to his rural village in Western Kenya where he was taken ill. On arrival in the capital, he started experiencing breathing difficulties and was rushed to Karen Hospital for treatment.
The actor tested positive for the dreaded COVID-19 and went into isolation but did not recover. He was a diabetic which seemed to have worsened his situation.
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