The Untold Painful Journey of Comedian Daniel Ndambuki, Churchill to Comical Glory

The Untold Painful Journey of Comedian Daniel Ndambuki, Churchill to Comical Glory

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Daniel Ndambuki commonly known as Churchill or Mwalimu King’ang’i of Classic 105 was born thousands of days ago in Machakos District in Ukambani, Eastern Kenya.

Daniel Ndambuki is billed as one of the most successful comedians of our days in Kenya with his TV comedy show; ‘Churchill Live’ being regarded as the most popular in East Africa.

Born from a humble background, Churchill grew up in harsh environments and hardship.

After his O-levels in 1995, Ndambuki was headed for a career in football but the Nyayo Stars — the Under-17 national football side of which he was a member went very far backwards after officials did other things with the money meant to develop young talent.

Good news it was to his cousin Faith Obunde, All the time, she had believed that the young man was squandering his future in the uncertain pursuit of football stardom.

One day she said to him just look for something else you can do and leave “this idleness called football”. Something like studying the Bible at the World of Life College in Kabete, Nairobi.

Pastor Ndambuki was putting his newly acquired spiritual knowledge into use molding children into God-fearing souls. Going by the number of the former pupils he introduced to the Kenya National Theatre, he wasn’t a lousy Sunday School teacher at the Kenya Assemblies of God Church Buru Buru, Nairobi.

Ndambuki won a scholarship to hone his theology at the Moody Bible College in Chicago, USA but that never materialized.

Put together, my village couldn’t raise the money for the air fare,” recalls Ndambuki who is also a producer with Heartstrings Kenya and author of the play This is Kenya which was a runaway success a month ago.“That’s how I missed meeting Obama. I wouldn’t be here,” he jokes.

The theological training had a profound effect on his life. “It gave me a sense of purpose and balance.”

But there comes a time when a man has to move on. Ndambuki’s bold move was taking up tenancy at the not-so-shiny Makongeni neighborhood, Nairobi.

“Sleep, you could but there was no turning,” he recalls of the Sh500-a-month tiny room shared with five other people.

Every morning he would head for Nairobi’s Industrial Area to clean bottles and heave timber for Sh115 a day.

You had to be friends with the roadside food woman. Jobs were not always forthcoming but lunch-time pangs of hunger were,” recalls Ndambuki.

One day, there were some auditions at the Kenya National Theater. Since he had tried acting in high school but he was more of a footballer, he decided to try his luck.

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