‘Papa Shirandula’ actor Kenneth Gichoya famously referred to as Njoro has broken his silence after he was pictured looking devastated next to Papa’s grave.
The heartbreaking photo went viral, evoking strong emotions from Kenyans who felt for the actor following the loss of his ‘brother’ and co-star in the seasoned Citizen TV comedy show Papa Shirandula.
Speaking Tuesday, Njoro assured concerned fans that he is fine and they should not be worried.
“Why should I be depressed? I have a family and my three kids to look after and my businesses as well,” he said, adding: “I am fine but still struggling with the death of Papa Shirandula. We have buried him but I have not accepted it.”
Gichoya said news of Charles Bukeko’s passing came as a shock and he even thought it was fake news seeing as Papa Shirandula had in the past been ‘killed’ by blogs.
“Some people give you ‘notice’, maybe they were sick, but when someone just dies, it’s hard to accept,” he said.
“I have also been killed three times but it was just false news.”
Met Two Decades Ago
Gichoya said he met Papa Shirandula in 1998 while working at the Kenya National Theatre (KNT) as a hawker. Bukeko was performing and offered ‘Njoro’ a job to play the role of a hawker.
They would go on to work on several comedy shows including Krazy Kenyanz and Trukalas and later while he working as a conductor in Rongai, the late Bukeko offered him the ‘Njoro’ role in Papa Shirandula.
“I have been the face behind Papa. Njoro is the character that drives Papa – he created and solved all his problems. On the show the characters were best of friends and also in real life,” he recalled in an interview with Jalas.
“He was more than a friend…he was a brother to me. When I had marital problems I would call him and he would come and help me solve them. Even when making investments, I would consult him first,” added Njoro.
He said they also invested together and whenever one wanted to set up businesses for their wives, they would always consult one another and do it together like brothers.
Advice To Fellow Comedians
Gichoya also touched on the issue of famous comedians falling into depression, advising them to make investments.
“Like right now, I have seen people discussing my dress code, yet they don’t know that there are things that matter,” he said.
“My advice to fellow comedians and even artistes, just live your life and you will be blessed from there. You live flashy lifestyles when you are in fame and when you get into problems, you end up not having someone to talk to.”
“Once they are broke is when they end up wishing they could have invested well. When you are a celebrity, come back and invest in some business to do because comedy itaisha tu,” said the father of three.