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Mulamwah quote on the essence of his comedy

This is Mulamwah: Comedian who conquered your timeline speaks his story, art, dreams and legacy

Alongside the talented likes of Choffuri and the late John Gift, Mulamwah is first among equals in a pioneering generation of entertainers practicing a form of comedy that observers have labelled as online comedy or status comedy. They are young, gifted, proudly representative of their Mulembe heritage, with a high ceiling and just getting started. Here at mulembenation.co.ke, we celebrate them by telling their stories. With little ado and much pride, we present – Mulamwah!

“When you finally exit the stage, if ever, what would you like to be remembered for?” Is one of the questions we had lined up for our interview with Mulamwah. We also had within our list of ten or so questions the usual culprits such as: Single, or taken? and such like mundane inquiries. But then we asked our first question, and Mulamwah spoke with such refreshing honesty we let his story speak for itself.

Mulamwah in a scene from The Love Triangle
Mulamwah, far right, acts a scene in a skit.


MULAMWAH: Real name ni David Oyando, born 1993 in Butere. That makes me 26 years. I currently call a village, Bikeke, in Kitale town, home. I am an entertainer and a nurse by profession. In 2017, I graduated from Moi University with a degree in nursing. My journey as a comedian had begun some four years earlier when I joined the university. I have just completed my nursing intern practice at Kenyatta National Hospital; done my National Council of Kenya licensing exam, awaiting the results.


MULAMWAH: Online comedy is what I like to call it. I have heard of the label ‘status comedian’ being used to refer to those of us who practice this type of comedy, but I find this definition rather narrow. All the same, online comedy/ being a status comedian is the new kid on the block. I must say that it’s growing really fast and has become quite big in a short with time.

There are many reasons behind the growth of this industry. On one hand, smart phones and internet bundles are becoming cheaper and easily accessible hence the growth. Moreover, short clips and vines are the new sources of happiness, laughter and joy to my generation.

Unlike our parents and big brothers, we spend much more time on our phones. We clock in much more hours on our gadgets than we do consuming TV. We also love it when the content on offer is short. This considered, once I got this grasp of the entertainment landscape, one thing stood out for me. This was the realization that when humor meets these conditions, it can only go viral.

Nonetheless, I get mistaken a lot for the accent I use in my comedy. What the naysayers don’t realize is that my accent comes from where I stay (shout out to my peoples at Bikeke village). Further, it is a playful take on the language I grew up speaking, Luhya. In that regard, my accent is not just a tool, but a representation of where I am from, my people, a place and an upbringing.

Hizi vitu wewe hutoa wapi? Would you be kind enough to let us in on your creative process?

MULAMWAH: My creativity is nourished by daily activities. Stuff we do, go through and experience any other day, be it in our own lives or those of others. Sometimes, Mulamwah comes alive from what I gather in the news. In a nutshell life is what inspires my art.

As for the ‘craft’, lots of research goes into delivering the vines and short clips that Mulamwah is known for. In a nutshell, the process begins with my team and I identifying a target group that would be interested in the social phenomenon we want to portray through humor. Next we brainstorm to build a persona of a typical fan from this group. In the process we are able to identify what like and even the appropriate time to release a particular video. Then we go on and record it and share .

A single shoot can make videos that last a month, so this means I am free to do your things, attend shows, interviews and have family time too. This means that I can also comfortably continue to serve humanity as a nurse while still doing my craft.

Hii comedy inakupeleka aje? How has been your journey in comedy so far?

MULAMWAH: Ok, well, growing up, I loved comedy on Tv. The likes of Mama Kayai and Mzee Ojwang on Vitimbi; Kj, Nyambane and Anthony Njuguna on Redykyulas; and then later when they added the likes of Mdomo Baggy and Kajairo to make Red Kona. I loved what they did and always wanted to be like them.

Mulamwah models merchandise from his bread and butter show Mulamwah Chronicles

However, I was in school and my dad was tough. Forget even doing comedy I could not even join acting clubs in both primary and secondary! My early life therefore was skewed more to education than acting. But I was funny in class and around my peers. That said, things blossomed when I joined campus in 2012. I was at least free and away from my parents.

It all started when I got involved in stand up comedy at campus during Christian Union every Sunday. With this crew, we later formed an acting group in church where we made skits and acted them during Sunday service. One day after church one of the Djs at the service linked me to fellow comedians. This gang of brothers and sisters had formed a group based in Eldoret doing wedding Mceeing, roadshows and events hosting.

Churchill Show

With this group, a year later, we started a comedy club in Eldoret which was running every Sunday. It is in this comedy club that I cleaned up my act whilst performing there for around two years. All along this hustle, I so much wanted to be on Churchill Show. But it being that surviving on the little we made was tough, it meant that I did not have the fare to Nairobi for auditions.

At some point I sold my phone to just come and try. I tried for over a period of 3yrs but with no success. All along I was Pursuing my degree. Not to give up on my dream, I started doing drama festivals acting for troupes from other institutions as mercenary. With this, I was able to earn a little pocket money to take care of the needs of your typical campus student. I also did street gigs as MC or stand up comedian in those things where phone shops put up a stand on the sidewalk and play music to entice customers. Haha! By the way, even during the struggle, I won three times in a row best stand up comedian at various drama festivals .

After graduation I applied for internship at KNH. Part of the reason, I wanted KNH was that I wanted to be in Nairobi so that I could be close to the auditions. Not only was I eyeing Churchill Show but also others such as The Real Housewives of Kawangware and theater acts, but I failed again. I gave it a go for almost a full year without any success. It’s then that I decided to try and make my own clips and share them online. Surprisingly, they went viral and here I am. I used to first share my clips via WhatsApp where they propulsion on the status hence the name status comedian .

YouTube player

Spirit true ya Mluhya halisi ni humility. Do you google yourself? Or rather, what keeps you grounded?

MULAMWAH: My journey to where I am at and where I hope to be keeps my feet firmly on the ground. I studied nursing got a Bachelor of Nursing Degree and then had to make a shift to pursue comedy as it was something I always wanted to do. As you can imagine, it has really been hard penetrating into the comedy industry. I have had to overcome a lot of challenges and the scars remind me to keep it serene. Talk of lack of professional cameras, to poor editing and at times the discouragement one faces from people when you post your videos; I carry all those marks of the journey with me.

Ukweli ni those who will try and pull you down ni wengi. I tell you, ever since I posted that first video online, I have faced a lot of discouragement from people but I have kept moving on. Anyway, I overcame this negativity and challenges by just being me. Everyday, simple things remind me of how I have had to make the most of the little that was available to me. It keeps me humble. For example, today it might appear improbable, but the brand Mulamwah started with me recording myself on my phone. I would then self-edit the videos with tools I found in the App Store.

Most importantly though, I’m grateful for the impact that Mulamwah has on people. Just to see people happy and the fact that some young comedians and children look up to me gives me real hope and the zeal to keep on perfecting my act.

What don’t people know about Mulamwah?

MULAMWAH: I think it used to be that I am a nurse, but I think that’s out there now. Still, I can say that balancing the two has helped me learn a lot in navigating the entertainment scene as a performer. I can say that my training as a nurse has instilled the value of having a work plan. It’s quite simple really, with a work plan, everything falls into place.

Given this life experience, I find myself to be quite versatile. I can MC; I can run road shows; entertain at weddings and still do stand up comedy. I create content for people too. To answer your question, most people know of Mulamwah the status comedian, others know of my work as a TV host. What some may not know is I wear many hats. Mulamwah is all about making people’s lives just a little better. It is a task as easy as it is hard and I throw myself fully into it; expending myself through out, with humor as my trusty sidekick.

Swali nyeti lakini muhimu. Does being ‘Mulamwah’ pay the bills?

MULAMWAH: Yea, doors have opened up. Yes, but not that wide. I have activated and advertised many brands on my platform; and yes food is being served on my table from my humor and the influence I have through my brand. Nonetheless, growth has been gradual. Hopefully soon I shall be striking bigger deals. God’s plan.

Advice kidogo Omwami, what would you say to that upcoming artist with a dream and no or little means to make it come true?

MULAMWAH: For the upcoming artist, I would just tell them to do their best, ignore negativity and trust the process. Rome wasn’t built in a day. When the inevitable lows hit them hard, let them remember that everything is possible however hard it may seem at a time. Finally, I find the following simple rule to across the creative industry. I call it the open secret to making it [pause] Rule 1: Being unique is all about fidelity to the true you. This means as an artist, you have to spend time defining your values, evolving, learning the world around you whilst keeping the hunger inside alive. [pause] Rule 2: Being current by having content that people can relate to will make you stand out.

Wele akipenda, moving forward, what can your fans expect from Mulamwah?

MULAMWAH: More humor. Lots of laughs. And plenty to kill the funk in their lives. Follow my Instagram (@mulamwah 105k), Twitter (@mulamwah 35k), Facebook page (@mulamwah 15k) for fresh exciting and entertaining content. And for those behind news, I now have a channel on YouTube (@mulamwah 27k subscriber) with longer videos. Everyone can head on there to catch my newest project. It is an entertaining series of clips each running for about five minutes that we have named The Love Triangle. It’s an exciting project in which I have featured other talented actors too. So far we’ve done three episodes and they have been received well.

Currently, I’m also pursuing some TV leads too. So be on the look out as Mulamwah will soon be on a screen near you either as an actor or comedian. Also I eye for a position as a radio personality. More importantly though, I pray for the opportunity to grow and mentor upcoming new acts too. In truth, I have so many dreams for this industry. It’s all a matter of time and God’s favor.

Finally, you are rocking one sick jumper. Love it kabisa… Where can we find Mulamwah merch?

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