Alex Wamatu aka Kinyash or Kinyanjuiis a popular figure in the Kenyan acting and comedy circles. Kinyash is best known as one of the cast members of the prank show ‘Pasua’ on KBC and KTN.
The show served as his big break in the TV scene, and he went on to earn a nomination for a Kalasha Award in 2013.
Wamatu spoke to Spice Magazine about his journey in the arts.
Briefly introduce yourself.
I was born and bred in Mwimuto village in Kiambu county. I’m a son of a single mother, a lucky husband to one wife and the luckiest dad to a beautiful daughter.
You can say I sponsor all women conferences (laughs). So, Alex plays Kinyash or Kinyanjui, a widely known comedy character that has become a household name.
How did your acting career begin?
This began after I finished high school in 2009, with no job and a bit of a hard life.
I was being housed by a group of friends and I remember affording a meal was almost like a miracle.
That’s when we got an idea to do a prank show, The Pasua Show, which aired both on KBC and KTN from 2010 to 2018.
Because of my love for arts in general, this came naturally for me. I would have so much fun during shoots and even manage to escape my life frustrations.
That show led to other shows such as Classmates on KBC and a few others. These roles got me a Kalasha Awards nomination in 2013 in the Best TV Comedian of the Year category. Hopefully next time I’ll get to take the trophy home.
How do you balance family obligations and your career demands?
Alex and Kinyajui are very different people. Alex is a family man while Kinyajui is a public figure.
Immediately I leave home, Kinyajui takes over, as Alex takes a break unless he necessarily has to be present.
Basically, I love the support I get from my family, and in return, I always strive to do the best for them.
What keeps you moving?
My vision. I have a plan of where I’m going, and every day’s toil is just a puzzle piece of how I’ll reach my destination.
And my family too keeps me going on. As a man, I have to provide, or rather give a better lifestyle than what I grew up in.
I’ve come to realise that my responsibilities keep getting bigger with every milestone I accomplish. Things were easy when I was a bachelor, I guess. I have no option but to keep walking.
Your YouTube channel Kinyash TV has gained a massive fan base in a very short time. What has been the secret behind this?
I mean, what can I say? This is all God first, then my fans. I really do appreciate how open people are to my character Kinyash and just offer massive support.
They accepted me for me. A thousand thank yous though may not be enough to show my gratitude.
How has the Covid-19 pandemic impacted your career as a creative?
Arrrgh! Covid-19 should just go away. You know as an artiste, you can’t work from home. You have to go out there, mingle with people for you to make a living.
And most companies have been hit hard, making work width really lean. And don’t get me started on the Covid-19 protocols that are deterring us from events and stuff. But all in all, God has been faithful and eventually we shall overcome.
What is the inspiration behind your content and the Kinyash character?
I’d say it’s an opportunity of telling our stories; the hustling Kenyan stories, but in a comical way. Most of my stories are those that an ordinary person (myself included) encounters.
I have always loved to entertain, from a very young age. I believe Kinyash is a stress reliever from an otherwise very stressful economic situation currently.
Who do you look up to in the entertainment industry?
I wouldn’t say one particular person in the Kenyan industry, just because we currently have very humorous comedians and actors that bring joy to the entertainment world.
I think we complement each other really well. Internationally, I’d say Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell. These guys are so funny; I can’t get enough of them.
What are your aspirations as far as your career in the entertainment industry is concerned?
The sky is no limit for me; a politician maybe? Ha-ha. With all seriousness, I’d say to make a difference. It would be a pity being popular, but with no tangible impact.
What is your advice to the comedians whose life has served them lemons?
One day at a time. Many would say make lemonade out of the lemons, but I’ll say trust the process.
Faith it till you make it. No one can pull a roadblock when your time has come.