Two years ago, if anyone would have told Vanessa Akinyi alias Cartoon the Comedian that she'd be Kenya's most hyped entertainer, she'd have probably called them a liar.
The 'inanichoke inaniaffect' viral sensation has had a meteoric rise to stardom to put it mildly. From being hosted on NTV's The Trend show to Bonga na Jalas, Akinyi is going places.
Everything changed the moment her video hit the internet. The video itself involved a girl (Akinyi) walking out of her relationship because her boyfriend's English dialect was just to much.
"Inani-affect, inani-suffocate, inaninyonga...wewe umeanza ku-overdo, umeanza ku-overdo, umeanza kuongeza ma vocabulary," she complains to her boyfriend.Vanessa Akinyi alias Cartoon the Comedian.File
Just to paint a picture of how viral her funny video has become, there are already at least 2 songs sampled off her hilarious vocals.
Her effortless act in the hilarious video has endeared her to thousands, with her YouTube page currently on 77,000 subscribers and growing everyday.
However, unknown to most, Akinyi's viral video was actually recorded on her friend's phone as she didn't own a phone at the time.
Hers is a story of triumph against seemingly insurmountable odds, having struggled to make ends meet in the sprawling streets of Kayole, in Nairobi.
"I used to hawk omena around. Hiyo biz ina ganji mbaya (that hustle had great returns). I used to sell them in Kariobangi, Lucky-Summer and Baraka," she revealed during a recent interview.
It is her positive aura and attitude towards anything that she puts her mind to, that has seen her rise as well as endeared her to her fans.
She was pushed to audition at Alliance Française who always found her funny but it was a year before she got her first shot on stage.
After years of constant "Nos" she finally had a chance to appear on the Churchill Show where things took a turn for the worse in terms of crowd response.
Viewers spammed her social media pages with hate messages, but you'd think she actually enjoyed going through the negative feedback by how casually she explained it.
"Hawakuipenda, hawakuilove, walinijazia inbox, I think nilikuwa na stage fright hiyo time (they didn't love it, my inbox was full...I think stage fright got to me)," she explained, in her infectious yet comical tone.
True to her 'never give up attitude', Cartoon the Comedian kept at it and once the pandemic struck, she got her big break.
Using her friends phone (Diana Daisy), she worked on the Inanisuffocate video and her life turned on its head.
In an interview with Jalas on November 10, the veteran comedian was in awe of Akinyi's humble demeanour and inspirational story. So much so that he actually promised to give her a gig to help her build her career.
Despite having had to drop out of school out after sitting for her final year examinations in form 4 due to financial constraints, Akinyi's attitude has seen her star shine during one of the darkest years in Kenyan history.
Her fans have tipped her for even greater success based on how natural and authentic she comes off in her funny skits. She is definitely one to watch.
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