The Churchill comedy show lost another talent, Othuol Othuol on Sunday, October 11, after a long illness.
His death brings to 5 the number of comedians from the fold who have died in the last 2 or so years.
Some of these comedians passed away at the height of their career raising important questions on what could be ailing our rib-crackers.
Here's a look at some of the talent the country lost during this period and the stories behind their untimely demise.Othuol Othuol in his element during a Churchill Show back in 2018.
Emmanuel Makori Nyambane alias Ayeiya
It all started with Ayeiya. Arguably one the comedy show's fastest rising stars.
In April 2017, Ayeiya lost his life in a grisly road accident that occurred on Magadi Road as he was heading home in the company of his wife, comedian Paul wa Kimani and Maina Olwenya.
Following his death, his fans noted that on his very last show, he cut a mystic figure as he walked off the stage for the first time without his usual background music.
It has since been established that he specifically asked the DJ to let him walk off in silence.Comedian Emmanuel Makori who passed away in a road accident 2017YouTube
From his humble beginning in comedy, Ayeiya rose to become part of the creative team in the Churchill Show.
DJ Nakumatt aka Man Kwenjo
His death came just a year after Ayeiya (July 23, 2018), following what was described as a short illness.
He did not start out on the famous comedy show, but rather got called to feature after his profile rose following a video of his mouth-mixing skills that went viral.
Veteran comedian Daniel ‘Churchill’ Ndambuki took to social media to mourn the passing of Dj Nakumatt stating: “We will miss you dearly…Rest with the angels,” he wrote.
Anthony Njenga alias Njenga Mswahili
The nature of his death struck a nerve, with fans of the Churchill comedy show using social media to express their shock.
Njenga's body was found sprawled across the railway track in Dagoretti on November 7, 2019.
His death hit the industry hard and his colleague, Eric Omondi, was the first to come out and reveal that Njenga had been silently battling depression for 3 years, leading up to his death.Friends and family mourn comedian Anthony Njenga who passed away in November 2019
“Njenga was crying out for help during his darkest times, but everyone, including me, was simply too busy with our own lives to lend a helping hand. It’s like we have lost our humanity,” a bitter Omondi admitted.
Joseph Musyoki Kivindu alias Kasee
On June 28, 2020, the Churchill show was once again in mourning following the death of one of its youngest stars.
The mystery surrounding the cause of death denied his family and loved ones closure.
The young entertainer was found dead around Nginduri area in Kikuyu.
Two weeks after his death, the chairman of the Comedians In Kenya Society Ken Waudo announced that according to autopsy results, the comic had died from poisoning.Daniel Ndambuki alias Churchill during the burial of Joseph Musyoki Kivindu aka Kasee. July 4, 2020.File
He added that it was now a matter under police investigations.
Incidentally, on the very day he made the startling revelation, the late Othuol Othuol had just been discharged from the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and was according to reports showing signs of improvement.
“Othuol will be required to physically attendimg hospital sessions every three days for the next three months at KNH. He still needs our support and prayers,” Waudo stated at the time.
Depression in Comedy
In July 2020, popular Churchill show comedian Zainabu Zeddy brought to light the plague that has been ailing her colleagues in the laugh industry.
George Maina alias Njoro the comedian opened up Zeddy on his struggles with depression and how it pushed him to the edge.Comedians Zeddy (Left) and Njoro share a light moment at his Nakuru home on July 20, 2020.
"You know, when you lose everything, you also end up losing the people you used to call your friends. I have tried to take my own life three times, but by some miracle I failed in all my attempts. It must be God's plan, but truth be told, I am not well at all," he confessed.
Several comedians including the late Othuol have openly confessed to battling depression and at times addiction.
During an interview on Radio Milele, Eric Omondi affirmed that depression has single handedly robbed the nation of some of its most gifted artists.
He further explained that societal expectations pinned on fame are driving many young, upcoming acts over the edge.
According to the gifted comedian, many of his colleagues live on a hand to mouth basis and are struggling to make ends meet.
Omondi recalled how he ended up famous but broke as he started his career, and how it affected him mentally.
“If you are a public a figure with no steady income, chances are high that you will sink into depression. You have nowhere to go considering your celebrity lifestyle. It eats you up from within.
“I remember when I started featuring in Churchill Live, in the first five months, I was famous but very broke. I could not walk on the streets. I would board matatus and many would think I was shooting an episode, but in the real sense, I had nothing. I was soaking in sweat," he recounted.
He went on to detail the importance of having mentors. "I asked Churchill why I was famous and dead broke, and he taught me how to make extra cash by scouting for events and making savings," he detailed.Comedian Eric Omondi in an Instagram photo posted on July 23, 2020
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