By Prudence Minayo
The Kenyan comedy industry was very alive in the 90s and early 2000 thanks to Walter Mong’are, Tony Njuguna and John Kiarie, the trio who were famously known as ‘Reddykulass’.
Mong’are, popularly known by his stage name Nyambane, was among the pioneer comedians in Kenya. Nyambane was famous for imitating the late president of The Republic of Kenya Daniel Arap Moi.
Today, he is no longer a stand up comedian but has set his eyes on becoming the next President of Kenya.
Here is his story as told by WoK.
The former comedian was born on 26th March 1975.
He attended Lenana School between 1991 and 1994. Walter then got a chance to join Kenyatta University between 1996 to 2000. He pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Media Studies.
In May 2000, he was discontinued from Kenyatta University. This was because he had so many commitments and missed out on a lot of lectures. He appealed the university’s decision and was re-admitted in 2005 but was once again discontinued because of calling off semester due to work demands and a growing family.
Dropping Out Of KU
The funnyman did not complete his studies at KU. Instead, he took a certificate course in Advanced Graphics at Kul Graphics which got him a job at Buruburu Institute of Fine Art as a lecturer.
In an interview with pulse he says he learnt a number of things from Kenyatta University.
“ At Kenyatta University I had acquired a lot of communication and public relations skills and that explains why I have been a successful communications specialist working for multiple multinational media houses and leading counties,” he told Pulse.
In a separate interview, the comedian revealed that he was still in pursuit of higher education after flattering at KU where he had a young family to take care of.
“I am now at Daystar University pursuing a degree relevant to my career and, God willing, by 2020, the degree issue will be a matter of the past.”
Walter married his first wife in 1996 and had two children with her, Tracy and Walter Mong’are Jr.
In 2008, he married his second wife, former Tusker Project Fame (TPF) finalist Linda Wangeci Muthama. In 2014, she walked out of the marriage.
In 2017, Mong’are told PD that he only had one wife and his first child is now in her 20s.
“I can only say that I am happily married to one dear and beautiful wife, and blessed with lovely children. My first-born has reached voting age, and I will begin with her in my quest to making the youth understand why voting for President Uhuru in the August polls is a gain for them. These young people need to be whipped to vote,”
According to a 2011 interview published on the Daily Nation, he stated that his first job was as a clerk at the administration department of Mumias Sugar Company, basically to mark and record company assets.
Walter became a popular personality in Kenya during his stint as a comedian for the then popular comedy show “Reddykyulass.” Together they toured the United States and Europe before coming back to Kenya and starting the comedy show “Red Kona.”
The comedians in the show mimicked the late Daniel Arap Moi and former president of Kenya Mwai Kibaki. He was especially known to imitate the late former president Moi exceptionally. Nyambane imitated the late Moi from his voice down to his attire. He was so successful one could think it really was the late former president speaking.
Together with his fellow comedians back then, John ‘KJ’ Kiarie-now a member of parliament-and Tony Njuguna, they began an agency called Reddykyulass Limited. The agency was a talent casting company as well as an agency that dealt with concept development. It is credited with famous commercials in Kenya, such as ‘Nimechill.’
Walter also started a music management company called Altimate Limited. Some of the people that were managed by the company include former TPF singer Linda Muthama and Altimate band.
Over the years, he left comedy and started doing other things including being a co-host at Kiss FM.
In 2010, he became the group head of radio at Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, taking care of 19 government owned radio stations.
Mr. Mong’are then worked with the Kisii county government as the Director of Communication before moving to the Nairobi county government to do the same.
In 2019, he was announced as the drama ambassador by the Kenya Films and Classification Board CEO, Ezekiel Mutua.
He worked for the government as a deputy director in youth programs (liaison) presidency and cabinet affairs office of the government of Kenya. He offered proven skills in public relations, media management, advertising, public communication, youth mobilization and advertising.
Running for the presidency
The Umoja Summit Party presidential candidate became the first candidate to be cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to run in the August 9 General Election on May 30, 2022.
Days later the IEBC revoked the clearance certificate of Walter Mong’are alias Nyambane citing discrepancy in his academic papers.
The comedian graduated from Daystar University on Thursday, November 17, 2022 after more than 26 years since he enrolled for a degree.
The elated Umoja Summit Party leader took to Facebook to celebrate the achievement. He captioned a photo of himself in a graduation gown,
“God has been faithful. Glory be to the highest. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.”
“Luke 2:52 – And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man,”