Veteran comedian Daniel Ndambuki alias Churchill recently celebrated his 40th birthday in a grand ceremony attended by political and entertainment heavyweights.
To celebrate the milestone, Churchill hosted a mega show at the Kenyatta International Convention Center. The comedian received some expensive and sentimental gifts, including Alfred Mutua’s promise to name a road in Machakos after the comedian.
Churchill’s radio co-host Maina Kageni also gifted him with a car worth KSh 10 million. Kageni partnered with a popular lounge to gift Churchill a convertible BMW 320i.
After the bash, Churchill spoke to a local tabloid about his journey in the comedy industry.
Happy belated birthday, bro! Does life really begin at 40? How does it feel?
I wasn’t aware until people started telling me aah! umezeeka oooh! Look at you. But I thank God for all these 40 years that I have graced the earth.
I have been able to grow as a person as well as get an opportunity to lift others too. That’s is very special to me on my 40th birthday.
Is it true that you regret not starting comedy earlier?
You see after high school I could have joined drama school immediately. I got an opportunity to study drama via a scholarship in Chicago University in the United States but I hesitated. I let that chance go. Maybe if I had grabbed it, I would have been doing things differently today and maybe I would have been much better at comedy.
Nevertheless, you have achieved so much for yourself and for the industry at large…
It has taken me a long time to get where I am right now, 15 years is quite some time you now. But I tend to think that had I joined Chicago University, I would have achieved what I have now earlier and faster. For instance, I would have learnt production earlier which is something I have had to take lessons on while on the job. Juggling production and comedy hasn’t been easy. Not having the knowledge of production earlier made me lose much both financially and creative wise.
Have you ever been broke in your successful journey as a comedian?
Oooh yes! For instance, during the elections period, we had tense moments, we couldn’t tour to do shows, we couldn’t host shows and you can’t make people whose minds are on to something else laugh because of the situation at hand.
Have you ever been jealous of a fellow comedian because you felt that his star would shine brighter than yours?
No! Never because mimi sio mpaji wa riziki. I believe everyone has his date with destiny. You may be first but mine will surely come and that’s why every single day we wake up to continue with the hustle.
Talk to me about the fallouts with artists you nurtured…
It’s normal for human beings to behave like that. I am just like a headmaster doing his job. No headmaster would wish to see his student not prospering, so when they come and get other advisers whom they feel are better, I always wish them best of luck knowing back in my mind that at some point they will reflect on to their actions and see where they got it all wrong.
What has kept you intact unlike your peers in the industry?
I think every individual has his/her calling and mine seems to be in comedy. Everybody got his way and vision and mine has been comedy. When we started this journey together my intention was to finish the marathon race and that’s why I’m still on course. My intention is not to win but to complete the race and that’s why am still hanging on in there pushing hard. I believe for my friends they did reach the end of their races and that’s why they quit.
You have many politician friends. Would you ever consider joining politics?
I get that pressure all the time but I keep asking them why do they want me to join them yet I am just doing fine and they can clearly see that. What’s the fuss? , I’m not just ready to deal with the kind of pressure they get. I experienced it with my uncle, presha ndio sitaki. They should leave me alone to do my thing because there is no single day that I will ever join politics.
When do you plan to call it a day in comedy?
Boss, I am not going anywhere. I want to be the Mugabe of comedy in Kenya, I have built my industry so why leave? I will keep pushing even up to my 90s or beyond if God grants me that permission doesn’t matter even if I will be performing for three people I will still do it.