Jalang’o: How I landed Obama deal

Kenyan comedian Jalang’o, whose real name is Felix Odiwuor, says former US President, Barack Obama, appreciated him for the “good job” he was doing as an emcee at the launch of Sauti Kuu youth centre in Siaya County Monday.

The humorist could not stop gushing about the fact that he greeted Mr Obama, and even exchanged a few words with him.

“When Barack Obama came to the stage, he held my hand and patted me on my shoulder and told me good job; and I said: ‘Thank you Mr. President’,” Jalang’o said on Citizen Extra Tuesday.

“The entire Luo community is proud of me,” he added.

“People have been sending me messages telling me not to wash my hands after greeting Mr Obama so as to ‘pass the blessings to them’,” Jalang’o said.

Jalang’o also revealed how he ended up landing a deal to emcee at the event.

“The news about Obama coming to town was all over; and I told Jeff, on the Jeff and Jalas show on Hot 96, that I would host the event, merely as a joke,” he said.

“Later on, the team from Gina Din Events watched the recorded show and I was called by Lorna Irungu Macharia, the group MD Gina Din Events. Lorna told me: ‘Do you know some dreams come true?’

“I asked her: ‘What dream are you talking about?’

“She went on to tell me that Gina Din Events was handling Obama’s PR in Kenya.

“Lorna told me the company was organizing the event, and I was the chosen emcee.

“Sometimes what you say is powerful because you never know who is watching or listening, the tongue is very powerful,” Jalang’o said.

The event was not one that Jalang’o had been used to. He had to undergo key scrutiny ahead of the launch.

“I had to go through meetings and interviews, where I would meet the secret service. It was a long process. I could not use my phone a few days to the event due to security reasons.

“I was very nervous because I was not sure I would be able to handle such a big event.

“Hosting ex-president Barack Obama is no child’s play. However, I have hosted a couple of big events before; the biggest, until the Sunday function, was the World Cup in South Africa 2010.

“I have also hosted many presidential events, so I almost knew what was expected of me.

“I have now updated my CV, and I am now charging higher to emcee at an event.

On future endeavors, Jalang’o believes that this is only the beginning as he hopes to do a lot more in the hosting business, such as hosting one of the biggest music awards gala – the BET.

“I would now like to host the BET awards show, which is the next big thing for me.”

Jalang’o had some solid advice to give to the Kenyan youth.

“This is how to be poor: buy a big mattress, two big duvets and sleep. So you have only two choices, either to sleep and enjoy your dream or wake up and chase the dream!”


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