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Tom Daktari: My Journey From Hawking Mayai Pasau In Mlolongo To Becoming Top Comedian

Tom Daktari: My Journey From Hawking Mayai Pasau In Mlolongo To Becoming Top Comedian
Comedian Tom Daktari PHOTO:Courtesy

Comedian Tom Daktari, real name Andrew Wambua Mboya has made a name for himself on social media and is among the most viral entertainers on the video-sharing app Tiktok. He has carved out a niche for himself, making short clips where he describes different life situations in a witty manner.

So hilarious are his videos, that he has become a go-to person for various marketing campaigns, as his approach is relatable and simplistic, all while pushing products and services to his followers.

Before he acceded to stardom, he experienced setbacks that almost led to his departure from the comedy scene. It was during the 2020 Covid pandemic that he came to the spotlight, alongside fellow comedian Sammy Kioko.

His upbringing played a part in his motivation to become a comedian. Coming from a humble background, success was paramount to improving his life situation.

Tom Daktari was born one of 9 children to his parents who hailed from the Zaikono Area of Kathiani, Machakos county. He dreamt of being a filmmaker, a dream that was deemed impossible owing to his family’s financial struggles.

He attended Kombu Primary School in Ukambani and later continued to St. Martin Kithunguini High School. He revealed that financing his education was quite a task, leading to the sale of some of the family’s livestock for fees.

He once revealed in a past interview on Churchill Show that his mother once gave him a Kshs 50 allowance, which put him down after he saw his counterparts arrive with heavy shopping and large amounts of pocket money.

Selling Eggs In Mlolongo
After completing his high school studies, he moved in with his brother to Mlolongo, where he ventured into his first business. He put up a Mayai Pasua(boiled eggs) cart with help from his brother.

Business was slow, and he opted to hawk the eggs instead, carrying them around in a transparent bucket which he did only for a day which he described as an eternity.

Out of the 30 eggs he had begun with, he managed to only sell 10, attributing his lack of knowledge of the market as the reason behind the business failure.

Further, he was unprepared to take on the business, with customers complaining of his inability to crack the eggshell correctly while others were dissatisfied with the quality of his salad.

“The egg business should have eggs, onions and tomatoes. I just went with eggs and tomato, and customers would ask me why doesn’t this one have onions and they’d decline to eat,” he narrated in an interview.

After the egg business took a nosedive, the comedian decided to try his luck in selling oranges. This business endeavour also faltered as there was little customer interest in purchasing the oranges which he had displayed by the roadside.

With time the quality of the oranges began to deteriorate, prompting him to lower the prices to minimise his losses. Customers remained wary, however, afraid that he might be offering spoiled goods. His last resort was offering them for free, but no one was interested.

Acting Career
After the two unsuccessful business attempts, Tom’s older brother took him to the Kayole social hall for set book auditions. There, he successfully secured a role in presenting oral literature, marking the beginning of his acting career.

He finally had a shot at better pay, but the job was not enough to cater to his academic aspirations to be a filmmaker. His brother took a chance on him and applied for a loan, which facilitated his enrolment at the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication. He studied film and successfully graduated in 2020.

Tom decided to give auditioning for the Churchill show a shot. Unfortunately, his first attempt was poor, and his jokes were boring to the audience. He however persisted, making several more tries, but success seemed to evade him every time.

He then resorted to entering the Ultimate Top Comic Competitions and managed to advance to the semi-finals. It was during this time that he met comedian Sammy Kioko. Sammy showed Tom the ropes, and they began practising pick-up lines at Kioko’s house. Tom was unfortunately eliminated from the competition despite his efforts.

In 2020, the two comedians teamed up to create content centered around the school setting creating scenarios that often landed people in trouble. Viewers could relate with the content, hence becoming immensely popular leading to millions of views on their YouTube channel.

Taking on the role of the teacher, Tom Daktari would play alongside Sammy and other characters who portrayed students, The show gained traction quickly, propelling their channel to over 319,000 YouTube subscribers.

TikTok Success

Now with 1.2 million followers on TikTok, Tom is in the big leagues of content creators in the country.

He has carved out a niche where he incorporates his strong command of Swahili with a tinge of Kamba accent to make hilarious videos. His spontaneity adds to the wit and humour as he says he rarely scripts his content.

His videos have landed him brand partnerships and his voice is used as Skiza Tunes, which have helped him cash out big from his talent.

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