Churchill Show comedian Professor Hamo has become an undoubted sensation in the laugh industry, always leaving audiences in stitches with his unique style.
Like any other young men struggling to find their footing in life, Professor Hamo, whose real name is Herman Gakobo Kago, once narrated that he once rented a bedsitter with a friend for 4,500, which they could hardly pay. That was back in 2010.
The comedian and radio host acknowledged that he was once so broke when he performed with a music band. It was an art, he says, he had vowed to pursue for a lifetime, as he believed it was heavenly.
“Even the Holy Book says that singing and dancing forever will be the only activity in the second life.”
He says he started a show called Rush Hour on reggae music, poetry, and comedy.
“That is when I met DJ Shitty, who was then known as ‘Magazine’ for his storytelling skills.”
From 2013- 2014, his fruitless journeys to Nairobi from his hometown of Nakuru for the Churchill Show auditions continued.
This was until the Churchill team went to Nakuru for a roadshow. His moment had come.
“I clearly remember my first show. I was first called for a rehearsal and the audience was fellow comedians. It was intimidating at first, but I regained my courage and gave it my all. They all clapped and that was wow for me,” the Nakuru-born actor says.
Today, Professor Hamo confidently attends the family gatherings that he once dreaded and readily answers the question he feared most: “What are you doing with your life right now?”
The 35-year-old Nakuru ‘Professor’ is a college dropout having attended only two years of what was supposed to be a three years diploma in electrical engineering at Kisumu Polytechnic.
His decision was informed by a lack of passion for electrical engineering.
He instead ventured into theatre and stand-up comedy in Nakuru while also selling mandazi and training dogs as a side hustle.
The comedian opened up to Nairobi News in a witty interview that this writer often mistook for a comedy act. It was hard to tell when he is being real and when he was in his element.
“Initially I was just ‘Hamo the Entertainer’. That was back in 2014 before I did my breakthrough performance in the Churchill on the road Nakuru edition show. I had auditioned six times, the first time being back in 2011 when I was shown the door and told I had the talent to be in the audience but not a performer.
Three years later I tried again a couple of times commuting from Nakuru every week for auditions but wacha mistari zianze kukataa kuja, nothing was forthcoming. I was pregnant with something but I did not know it was a miscarriage eventually I became broke again and stopped coming for auditions.
Having tried a couple of times without making it, how did he finally end up in Churchill Show?
In September 2014 I heard that Churchill Show was coming to Nakuru. I went for auditions and when they saw me hawakuamini natokanga Nakuru because I had never told anyone in the audition panel.
This time I had one killer line, mstari moja tu ndio iliweza, just one the rest were whack.
After the Nakuru show, what happened?
I was performing during the recording sessions, but my acts were not being aired. At one time my performance was uploaded on YouTube and it went viral, that was the time I was featured in the open mic performance, and in mid-January 2015 I did my first show as Professor Hamo adopting incorporation of music into comedy.
I used to be a bathroom artist but at some point, I was coached and I joined my home church St Peters Catholic Church choir where I used to hit the high notes that I know to pull off during the show.
You know a Professor ni ule mbuyu huwa anajiamini sana so if he does music he does it the best way because he thinks he knows even when he does not know the lyrics.
Well, I have a wife with two children. (This was in an earlier interview, before yesterday admitting to having many children, some he lives with, others not)
I have four brothers and my father is an ex-army officer now turned farmer while my mother was a housewife who instilled a lot of discipline in us.
I have electrical engineering knowledge as I studied the course majoring in power option at Kisumu Polytechnic for two years before I dropped out so I still freelance as an electrician.
I have also been a mandazi seller and a dog trainer provoking German shepherds as though am a robber just to get the beasts ready to deal with those who break into the affluent Nakuru homes.
Why did you drop out of school?
I was not ready to become a professional electrician. I just wanted to prove that I was good in it, but it was not my passion. So I eventually got tired and left college. My father never pressurized me to go back to school as he is the kind of parent who just watches you akisema maisha itakugonga.
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