If you ask anyone right now on what their take on Kenya’s current state of comedy is, many will tell you it’s on the right trajectory. THOMAS MATIKO looks at how some in the industry are cashing in.
Some few years back there wasn’t much of comedy as it is now. Little attention was paid to comedians. Comedy shows back then weren’t crowd pulling like they are now.
Comedy has been gradually mutating over the years in this country and currently comedians are amongst the highest paid in the entertainment industry. Those who have been able to make a name for themselves, are making a killing. So lucrative is the laughter industry that a comedian can now earn more than a musician.
A large number of comedians has taken up jobs as radio hosts. Some, such as Dr Ofweneke and Chipukeezy, have gone a notch higher to host TV Shows. This isn’t the same case with musicians even the established ones.
It doesn’t end there. Comedians are also giving musicians a run for their money in terms of endorsement deals and they are seemingly winning the race.
This week we look at comedians who have become darlings of corporates and made loads of cash from endorsement deals.
Timothy Kimani, alias Njugush, got his breakthrough when he acted in the comical TV show “The Real Househelps of Kwangware”.
He would leave the show to establish his brand and has been growing day by day. Njugush might be petite but he loads it heavy when it comes to humour. He has constantly kept his fans entertained by releasing creative funny content via his social media platforms which enjoy a huge following. Last month, he was feted with the YouTube Silver Play Button Award for surpassing the 100,000 subscribers mark.
Njugush’s mastery and understanding of what the public needs even with changing times has established him as one of the wittiest comedians in the country.
In return, several mouth-watering endorsement deals have fallen on his way. Njugush, who also doubles up as a corporate mcee, boasts of endorsement deals from, among others, Safaricom, Bountiful Safaris, Toilex tissues, Whitewash Soap, Kenchic, Fanaka TV, Oxfam and Vivo.
Omondi is without a doubt one of the best comedians in Kenya and beyond. Last month, he bagged the Best African Comedian at the African Entertainment Awards (AEAUSA) in US.
Omondi is now a man of means, as well, thanks to the loads of cash he generates via his jokes. Back in 2013 he was featured in the Young Rich programme which estimated his worth to be in the region of Sh30 million. Five years down the line Eric has upped his game and has gone on to attract several endorsement deals enough to make his peers in the music industry envious.
Even after ditching the Churchill show, Eric has established himself on the international scene through various events and funny stunts abroad. He is yet another comedian who is a darling of the corporates. A corporate mcee, he was once quoted stating that he charges not less than Sh150,000 for an event.
Exhausting the list of brands he works with, or has partnered with, could take you days. Among the notable ones are Bonfire Adventures, Dola Wheat Flour, Star Times, DSTV/GOTV, Showmax, FreshFri Cooking Oil, William Lawson Whisky, Silverstone air, Safaricom and Uber Taxi.
The comedienne, whose real name is Jacquey Nyaminde, is giving her male counterparts a run for their money. Wilbroda came into limelight thanks to a witty programme ‘Papa Shirandula’ where she plays wife to Papa. Her acting prowess would later land her a job as a radio presenter at Radio Citizen before ditching it for Milele FM. Besides, Wilbroda has landed many big endorsement deals. She is the brand ambassador of Jikokoa. She partnered with Tuskys during its gigantic sales promotions. Has worked with Sossi and Onga brands in the past including Molo Milk which paid her Sh700,000 to be its brand ambassador.
Wilbroda at one pointed was quoted saying that the least amount of money she has ever received for a two-year contract endorsement deal was Sh400, 000.
The corporate mcee in a past interview stated that he is a lover of shoes and buys up to four pairs every week. He drives top of the range vehicles ranging from Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover Overfinch and Toyota Land Cruiser V8. The 35-year-old, who is also a radio host, is said to be amongst highest paid presenters,
His wittiness has landed him some of the best endorsement deals. Some of the brands he has worked with include Hannan Tissues, Safaricom, Antony’s Fashion & Style Home Delivery, Huawei, Silverstone, Falcon Fertilizers and Trippygotours.
Born Jackie Vike, the comedienne who plays Awinjah in the “Papa Shirandula” TV Show has also created a niche for herself in the already flooded entertainment industry. Awinjah is among the few female comedians going toe to toe with male counterparts as far clinching endorsement deals is concerned. She has worked with Uber, Safaricom, Equitel, Royco.