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09/04/2013

Five Career lessons from Churchill- Mwalimu Kingang’i.


Daniel Ndambuki, aka Churchill or Mwalimu Kingang’i, has grown from humble beginnings, to prove that comedy can really pay for the really talented ones. From humble beginnings of acting high school literature and Fasihi set books, Churchill has carved a niche for himself as a morning radio presenter at Classic 105, a top MC at Corporate events, and the host of the popular Churchill show, which airs on NTV on Thursdays and Sundays. Here are some career lessons you can learn from him.

1. Non- Traditional careers pay.
While many of us would scoff at a person that makes a living from comedy, Churchill has proved that the once looked down upon careers- comedy, music, dancing, and acting, can put food on the table. He, plus musicians like Nameless, Juliani, Wyre, among others, are helping push the envelope for the Kenyan art scene, and proving that one doesn’t have to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or manager to make some good money.

2. Start Small.
While many of us wish to start big, Churchill did start from the small tasks he was assigned in the school plays. A story is told that he used to sleep on the floor in a one room apartment in Mlolongo. Although we cannot verify that, what we can note is that he has indeed come from far. At the time, he probably didn’t
consider that he would rise to the position he occupies today, but currently, he must be looking back and wondering if in deed he is the same person.

3. Continuously innovate.
As fellow comedian ‘Jalang’o often says, acting is one of the hardest jobs. One has to come up with fresh jokes very often, otherwise, the audience starts noticing the repetition, and draws away. Churchill has invested in learning his trade, reading wide, and often borrowing and then localizing his lines. Where he has run out of ideas, he has invited others such as Eric Omondi to stand up for him- heck, even Chris Rock runs out of lines and has fulltime writers to help him come up with new jokes. He crafted Churchill live from scratch, and from the show, he has achieved massive publicity.

4. Learn to multi- task.
 The era of sticking to one employer is long gone. In a way, we are turning out to be consultants, who sell our skills to our clients- employers. Even though Churchill has a full time job as a co-presenter with Maina Kageni on the Classic FM Morning show, he still manages to perform some other corporate gigs, to supplement his income.

5. Mentor others.
In the latest Churchill show, Churchill has brought on board new comedians, something which the audience did not appreciate at the beginning. Through his show, we now know of new comedians, like the Kibra guy with the Luhya accent, the police guy with the Kalenjin accent, and the guy with the Meru accent. Even though these new comedians have taken time to perfect on their act, they are catching up pretty fast, and who knows, one, or even all of them, could surpass Churchill in due time.

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