Kenyan comedian Man Njoro resorted to mjengo work when the reality of unemployment dawned on him shortly after he graduated from college.
Njoro, born George Maina, had completed his attachment at one of the local radio stations and was hopeful to land a job with Kenya’s mainstream media. However, that wish proved a pipe dream.
Njoro therefore decided to make use of his talent in comedy to fend for himself.
“I found no hope of being employed after the attachment, so I looked for means of surviving. I started off as a casual labourer,” Njoro recently told Citizen Television’s Willis Raburu and Joey Muthengi on Power Breakfast show.
“When I was working in ‘mjengo’ (construction sites), the ‘fundis'(masons) were telling me I was funny and that I should look out for a way to make myself useful,” he recalled; adding: “So one of the ‘fundis’ told me to go for auditions as they had heard of laugh industry auditions at Carnivore Nairobi.”
Man Njoro recounts being skeptical of laying his hands on comedy. But, he was finally convinced to give rib-cracking job a try. That was in 2010.
“I went for the auditions (at Carnivore). I was told I am not funny and that I should go back to work. I never gave up; I still went for the auditions each time with a different approach,” Njoro said.
Persistence paid off – eventually!
“Finally, they learnt I was not going to give up and gave me a chance to step on stage.”
The funny man said he had never performed before a mammoth audience; and he freaked out when he was called on stage to crack ribs.
“All these people want me to make them laugh!’ he exclaimed. “I was out of jokes. So I greeted the audience for five minutes.”
Man Njoro says the “awful experience” did not kill his spirit despite making a terrible first impression. He knocked on the doors yet again!
“I was given a final chance and did my best. My session was regarded as one of the best that day.”
Njoro’s style of comedy revolves around what happens in family setting and among elderly people in rural suburbs.
Njoro’s father played a pivotal role in shaping the comedian’s style of comedy.
“My dad bore the “I don’t care attitude”.” Njoro said, adding: “How my father was treating us at home taught me to be funny. I related to such experiences and developed comedy from it.”
Watch the full Interview below: