Comedy in Kenya is becoming a serious career upon which those who can manage to crack our ribs can rely on to put a plate of food on the table
Gone are the days when comedians were taken as mere jokers who had nothing else to do with their ‘miserable lives’.
Kameme FM comedian Mzee Kihenjo has managed to remain relevant for years despite the cut-throat competition that has come to characterize the local comedy industry in recent years.
However, as many will agree, Kihenjo has achieved much more in the Kikuyu comedy scene than just staying relevant. In fact, as we talk Mzee Kihenjo remains the undisputed ‘King of Kikuyu Comedy’.
And if you think this is all exaggeration or hyperbole, you may want to consider the following.
1. Mzee Kihenjo revolutionized Gikuyu comedy. It is without a doubt that when Kihenjo first entered into Kikuyu comedy scene close to 15 years ago, the only notable comedians then were the Githingithia-Njaramba duo whose brand of comedy was more of Abunuwasi tales.
However, Kihenjo came with his own brand of comedy that had not been witnessed before by the Gikuyu populace. This brand of comedy is still relevant today and other new entrants who have come after Kihenjo have been just been building on it.
2. The existence of several ‘copy-cats’. You will agree that majority of the post-Kihenjo Kikuyu comedians are nothing more than copy-cats. Reason? They just try as much as possible to copy and emulate Kihenjo’s style. That is why many call themselves ‘Mzee Xyz’ and even try among other things to speak, sound and dress like the ‘king’ himself.
3. Kihenjo’s brand of comedy has withstood the test of time. It is often said that good gold is the one that has been refined through extremely hot fire. Similarly, Kihenjo’s comedy brand has certainly proved to be a ‘refined gold’ having withstood the test of time and fast-changing trends in the comedy industry.
4. Kihenjo is the only Kikuyu comedian with tens of comical series under his name. In almost every typical Kikuyu household, you won’t miss a comedy DVD under Kihenjo’s name. Take it or leave it, no other Kikuyu comedian worth his sort has been able to achieve such milestone.