6 Comedians' Deaths That Shook the Nation

  • Daniel Ndambuki and colleagues carry Njenga Mswahili's casket on Thursday, November 14, 2019
    Daniel Ndambuki and colleagues carry Njenga Mswahili's casket on Thursday, November 14, 2019
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  • Do you know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken? Why? Because a reminder of their life, can take you back instantly to a moment, or a place, or even a person. No matter what else has changed, that one memory stays the same, just like that moment that was.

    One thing that has always made Kenyans forget the gloom, the sorrow and the never-ending political sagas is comedy. That's why millions throng venues, regardless of tribes, colour, gender and race to laugh and cheer each other. Fond memories.

    However, for the past years, death ripped the nation of laughter, taking away some of the very best, leaving us to cherish the memories.

    Friends and family mourn comedian Anthony Njenga who passed away in November 2019
    Friends and family mourn comedian Anthony Njenga who passed away in November 2019
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    Anthony Njenga (Mswahili)

    On Thursday, November 7, 2019, Mswahili's body was found dead on a rail track in Dagoretti, under unclear circumstances. Mswahili was one of the best comedians that ever graced Daniel Ndambuki's Churchill Raw.

    Since his debut in 2013, Njenga left a mark in the industry, despite his personal struggles.

    The late Njenga Mswahili performing on Churchill Show on May 16, 2019.
    The late Njenga Mswahili performing on Churchill Show on May 16, 2019.
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    "Sad day. It’s with great sadness we grieve the death of Njenga Mswahili. May God’s will be done!" Churchill eulogised as he later led his colleagues to burry the comedian.

    Celebrated Kenyan comedian, Eric Omondi on Monday, November 11, 2019, opened up on the troubled life of the late comedian.

    Speaking on Radio Milele, the recently crowned African king of comedy revealed that Mswahili had been battling serious depression for the three years leading up to his sad demise. Omondi later stated that he would run a campaign to create awareness on depression, and he would involve his colleagues.

    Emmanuel Makori (AKA)

    Comedian Emmanuel Makori who passed away in a road accident 2017
    Comedian Emmanuel Makori who passed away in a road accident 2017
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    Ayieya!.Poa Poa... This was Makori's trademark expression. He died following a road crash in 2017 while driving home to Rongai. 

    The accident occurred along Magadi Road, near the Catholic University of East Africa.

    On that night, the comedian was going home from work, after recording his piece for Churchill Show.

    "He taught me how to structure my comedy skits and put them in one story. He used to say Ayieyia poa poa and told me that I needed to have a signature that people would always remember me with and together we created. I will miss you man and am happy to have worked and known you," fellow funnyman Chipukeezy eulogized him.

     Nancy Nyambura (Jastorina)

    Nyambura's tragic end came days after she was named the best lead actress in TV drama at the Kalasha Awards in 2014.

    The actress succumbed to meningitis at Kenyatta National Hospital.  

    In her role, Nyambura portrayed a mistreated maid in the famous Citizen TV show, Jastorina. 

    Benson Wanjau (Mzee Ojwang')

    Mzee Ojwang' poses for a photo in one of his Vitimbi shows. He passed away in 2015
    Mzee Ojwang' poses for a photo in one of his Vitimbi shows. He passed away in 2015
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    The veteran comedian was one of the pioneers of the laugh industry. 

    He is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated actors, famed for his key roles in KBC's Vioja Mahakamani.

    Mzee Ojwang' succumbed to pneumonia at the Kenyatta National Hospital in 2015, after gracing the industry for over 50 years.

    His TV series Vitimbi, popular in the 1980s and 1990s across East Africa, would take on social issues such as wife beating and drunkenness.

    Jamal Nassor (Baba Junior)

    Jamal Nassor who was reportedly stabbed to death in December 2018
    Jamal Nassor who was reportedly stabbed to death in December 2018
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    The former Vioja Mahakamani ‘judge’, succumbed to knife wounds after he was reportedly stubbed by an alleged 'lover' following a heated argument.

    Nassor passed away on December 11, 2018.

    The 39-year-old acted in a number of local TV dramas, including KTN’s Junior and NTV’s Auntie Boss. However, he made a breakthrough in the industry with the famous KBC show Vioja Mahakamani.

    He won the Best Performance in a Comedy Award during the 2017 Kalasha Awards.

    DJ Nakumatt

    The late comedian, DJ Nakumatt who passed away in 2018
    The late comedian, DJ Nakumatt who passed away in 2018
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    DJ Nakumatt shot to fame after a video of him doing remixes of songs went viral on the internet, which earned him a call-up on Churchill Show.

    He is remembered for his comical skills by pretending to mix songs using his mouth instead of turntables as regular DJs do.

    "We will miss you dearly. Rest with the angels," Churchill mourned.  He passed away in 2018.

    Charles Kimani Kang'ara (Masaku)

    The late Charles Kimani Kang'ara who passed away in July 2018
    The late Charles Kimani Kang'ara who passed away in July 2018
    The Standard

    Veteran TV comedian, Charles Kimani Kangara, popularly known as Masaku, died in July 2018 at the Mbagathi Hospital in Nairobi.

    He was well known for his role in KBC's Vioja Mahakamani, acting alongside, Mzee Ojwang'.

    The actor, who hailed from Ithanga in Murang’a County, succumbed to kidney failure, diabetes and anaemia.

    “It is sad to see Kenya lose some of the best actors at this rate," fellow actor Hirum Mungai (Ondiek Nyuka Kwota) mourned.