He takes the stage and flashes a warm smile; the crowd is excited. They can tell they’ll have a good laugh. Later, Sleepy David gets off the stage having delivered on his promise – a night full of laughter.
Aside from his career in comedy, not much is known about the funnyman. Citizen Digital caught up with the comedian and he was able to share exclusive details about his early life, career, and outlook on relationships.
Growing up in a small town
The fourth born in a family of 5 sons, Sleepy David says it was fun growing up with his brothers – even if they fought periodically.
Asked to describe his childhood, Sleepy characterises it as “normal”.
“My childhood was like any other, I grew up in upcountry in Kitale. For my high school, I studied at Lodwar High School. I tell you ukimaliza you are a qualified KDF, maisha inakutandika sana,” he jokes.
After surviving the Lodwar heat, Sleepy secured himself a slot in one of Kenya’s top public universities.
“From there I joined Kenyatta University where I am to date. That tells you that I had the brains. Point to note, I qualified for university without any leakages,” Sleepy says.
Young Sleepy David poses with friends. (Second from the right)
Early starts of his comedy career
“All through my primary and high school life, I used to like drama and, of course, I participated to the best of my ability. I was once the best actor while in high school during one of the drama festivals that used to take place,” he recalled.
He also tried his hand at church plays, but he always ended up playing the antagonist.
“Believe it or not, when I was growing up, I used to play those plays in church either on Christmas season or any other event in the church. The roles I got were very funny. Actually, I never used to play Jesus or angels. For some weird reason, I used to play parts like Judas or even Satan at some point,” he laughs. “I can say that that was the start of my comedy career.”
The high school love letter that he remembers to date
Though Sleepy had many good memories from high school; a missive he received from a girl in Form 2 tops his list of memorable moments.
“What stood out for me was when I received my first love letter in Form 2. I am telling you, I could not imagine that someone else, apart from my relatives, loved me and wrote to me a letter declaring their love to me,” he reveals as his face lights up.
“The letter even had a song that was dedicated to me and I remember I used to sing it word per word those days. Back then, a pal of mine and I used to go to the basketball pitch every day to read through the letters because he too had gotten one,” Sleepy recalls nostalgically.
For Sleepy and his friend, these love notes were extremely significant: “It was so surreal that we had received love letters from girls, who back then, said that they loved us. I still remember her name: Halima.”
How things ended with high school crush Halima
Sleepy David was to later cross paths with his high school crush, Halima, but their love story would not have a fairytale ending.
“Here is the funny part, we never dated with Halima. Surprisingly, when I joined Kenyatta University, I met her there but she had already moved on and was in her 3rd year,” he said.
Why he chose the moniker Sleepy David
“As I said, I used to love acting back in high school. Acting and sleeping were my hobbies so “Sleepy” was my nickname,” he explains.
That nickname lived on, becoming the moniker that most people know him by today.
“After high school, I decided to run with the name as my stage name when I joined the entertainment industry.”
Treating fans like family
Being a people person, Sleepy David says that making audiences happy keeps him motivated.
“When I see guys happy and laughing, that is what inspires me to do what I do…Unlike many different artists that refer to people who love them as fans, I refer them as my family,” Sleepy said.
“What changes is that my ‘family’ keeps on growing day by day and I am always grateful for that. For me, nothing has really changed as much but I have to say that there is that emotional imbalance,” he reveals.
So what emotional imbalance is this?
“People know you as this funny guy and when you are sad, they still expect you to be happy, and that is something that you really need to work on,” Sleepy David explains.
Where he gets his jokes from
“You know, Kenyans are very funny people it is just that they do not get the chance to tell their stories. So I just tell their stories on their behalf. You will be surprised on how much there is on social media pages such as Facebook and Twitter.”
Women asked me to get them sponsors-Sleepy David
With popular socialites making headlines for living lavishly off the bank accounts of wealthy older men, younger women are increasingly looking for “sponsors” – some even going to the extent of asking Sleepy David to hook them up.
“I remember getting inboxes from ladies requesting me to hook them up with some of my older friends because I am a celebrity and I can get the connections. That is when I realized that there was a very big problem.”
This prompted Sleepy David to start an online video series that depicts the “sponsor mentality”.
“In all the parts that I acted on that video, I always made sure that I told people the other side of the story. It is not always a bed of roses, there is always the sad side of the story and it is always true.”
Sleepy would like his series to show his audiences that the sponsor mentality has serious repercussion, especially when it comes to the institution of marriage.
“People need to know that these “sponsors” are married and you are interfering with someone’s marriage. Apart from sponsoring you, the guy is also sponsoring other girls out there,” he said emphatically.
“I am a funnyman, so I could not handle the issue ‘seriously’. I have to say it in a funny way. However, if you are keen enough, you will definitely learn a lesson from it,” said Sleepy.
Sleepy David could date an older woman but…
When looking for a partner, most men insist on dating younger. How about Sleepy?
“When I look for someone to date, I do not concentrate on age that much. But then again, that does not mean that I can date very old women. For me if it is an older woman let us say our age difference can be 2-3 years.”
So what does he look for in a woman?
“First of all, I look for a woman who respects herself, and also somebody who knows that she has limits and principles that drive her. I also treasure an African woman a lot.”
About his relationship status, Sleepy David says: “I am very much single.”
If Sleepy David could be any person in the world he would be…
Himself – just a better version.
“I love my life so much; I like the fact that I get the chance to impact the society. However, I can only change to be the better me but not somebody else.”
After comedy, would he like to join politics like Redykyulass’ KJ?
“I would not like to vie for one because I believe that where I am I can already impact so many people’s lives. What people do not get is that political love is not like artist love that is why most artists who venture into politics fail.”