Popular comedian Eric Omondi is living proof hard work pays. The funny comedian, who rose through the ranks to become one of the most sought-after comics in the East African region has for the first time opened up about his life journey.
In an interview with CNN, Eric Omondi revealed that he has always had ambitions of being a comedian since childhood and the first time he appeared on national TV was nine years ago.
“I’ve been into comedy since I was young – I was the family entertainer at the dinner table. I cannot stand people [who are] bored or quiet. I’ll do anything and everything to make you laugh or to get your attention. I make people laugh,” he said.
Over the years, the Kenyan or rather African Laugh industry has evolved and we have seen many comedians from our continental make us proud out there; the likes of Uganda’s Anne Kansiime, Nigeria’s Basket Mouth, Chipukeezy from Kenya among others.
Also, Daniel Ndambuki aka Churchill, the Godfather of the Kenyan laugh industry has nurtured many raw talent into superstars, who later spread their wings and start their own shows.
According to Eric Omondi, comedy pays nowadays hence the flamboyant lifestyles exhibited by local comedians. The stand-up comedian also revealed that he used to get paid with food to perform back then compared to now.
“Comedy has really evolved. I started doing comedy at weddings and in churches. We were paid using sodas and food. That would be our pay, our contract. Then it moved to very little money. That’s why I think my heroes are the former comedians, the older guys, Vitimbi crew (Mzee Ojwang, Mama Kayai, Ngomongo etc) because they’re our freedom fighters.”
The witty character has not had it easy making it to the top of the league and he confessed that when he appeared on the Churchill show for the first time, it was a bit hard to convince the audience that he was the best, but as times passed by, he managed to crab their ribs every time he stepped on stage.
“I remember, the first time I walked out [on stage], I didn’t know how people would receive me. I came out and people were [slow clapping, thinking] ‘Who the hell is this guy?’ I did my first joke, then my second… and that was it, the rest is history.”
Eric says comedy is a mirror and it’s all about reflecting a society; their mannerism, behaviours. He says Africa is the next big thing and he is passionate about his job. He likes to brighten people’s living rooms every time he graces the screen.
“Number one, I love my job. Seeing people enjoying my work – that’s where I get my satisfaction from. When people are happy, I’m happy.”
Omondi is a role model to many upcoming comedians out there and his younger brother, Fred Omondi is also a talented comedian, who has carved a niche for himself in the flooded showbiz industry.