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Peterson Gathambo: Street Boy Who Rose To Become A Successful Actor

Peterson Gathambo is a successful Kenyan actor who has been featured in various shows, such as “Tabasamu,” “Papa Shirandula,” and “Makutano Junction.”

The role that cemented his position as a well-known actor was Charlie on “Machachari.” Initially, he was supposed to play Kyallo on the show, a man with a Kamba accent.

However, he couldn’t master the Kamba accent but excelled in the Meru accent since he had lived there before. Hence, they changed Kyallo to Charlie, and his character was well received by thousands across the country.

Here is his story as told by WoK.


He attended Rwang’ondu Primary School in Kagia town, Kirinyaga, before enrolling in Kiera Academy in Meru, where he took his KCPE exams.

Later, he joined Chogoria Boys High School. His love for drama blossomed in high school, where he would compose poems that made it to the national level.

Life as a street boy

In a past YouTube interview, the actor revealed how his strained relationship with his father compelled him to move to Nairobi after high school.

His mother passed away in 2008. Upon arrival in Nairobi, he knew no one and lived on the streets for two years.

He recalls being attacked and left with devastating wounds that required stitches. It was a chance encounter with Jalang’o that changed his story, as the now Langata MP helped him secure a job and better housing.


Acting was a part of his life from a young age. They would perform plays in church, and he continued acting in school. After high school, he went to the Kenya National Theatre and began acting in set books.

He first joined the then Pambazuka Africa and later Planets Theater. He was eventually employed by Jicho Four Products, where his salary increased from Sh250 per show to Sh1,000.

In a past interview with Vybz Kenya, he revealed that set books were like the nursery for all actors.

It teaches one time management and helps build character. There are no retakes, unlike in films. If you mess up on stage, that’s it.

He rose from being an actor to a stage manager and finally became a marketer for Jicho Four, in charge of the Mt. Kenya and Rift Valley regions.

The dream for most actors at the time was TV, and he landed a few roles as an extra on various shows like “Makutano Junction” and “Tabasamu.”

Later, he was cast as an extra on “Machachari,” where his impressive performance eventually led to him becoming a part of the show.

This opened many doors, and when Gumbaru wanted to go on air, he was contacted by the producer to take part in the show. “Machachari” also helped him secure a role in Kenya’s award-winning film, “Nairobi Half Life.”

He also played the role of Githeca in the popular Inooro TV Kikuyu drama series, “Ithaga Riene.”