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Patrick Oketch ‘Charlie’: Mother In Law Actor Who Rose From A Tout To P1 Teacher And Now Popular Actor

Patrick Oketch 'Charlie': Mother In Law Actor Who Rose From A Tout To P1 Teacher And Now Popular Actor

Patrick Oketch has graced the Kenyan screens for years. Many refer to him as Charlie, owing to his more than decade-long performance on Mother-in-law. However, he left the show after years of playing the role ‘Charlie’.

Background and Education

The thespian was born in 1981 in Mathare before they relocated to Eastleigh’s Madiwa area in 1987. The family patriarch passed away in 1991  when he was just 10-years-old. The family of five children, all boys, now had to solely rely on their mother. Life was hard and they went hungry sometimes.

Life After School

After high school, he could not join university after missing the cut-off mark by one point. It was more painful when his former classmates would relate stories about their university courses.

He briefly worked as a tout but found the job tedious. He then secured work in the construction industry.

His younger brother applied for him to join a teachers college with his aunt offering to pay for the tuition. He then went on to become a P1 teacher in Thogoto before securing employment in Soweto slums for Sh3,000 a month. His heart, however, lay in the arts.

Going after His Passion

In 2007, he officially left the classroom to pursue arts. He decided to put his passion for writing into use as he had written letters for his friends’ girlfriends while in school, and even gotten paid for it.

Arriving at the Kenya National Theatre, he met Jalang’o who after listening to him asked him to translate a 200-pages Luo play. He was done with it in 48 hours and the play was called Mayie Love.

He earned Sh5,000, a first for him.  He then started auditioning for commercials and got one or two gigs.

It seemed as if his dreams would come into fruition when he got a role in Tahidi High only to be fired after three episodes. In 2008, he landed the role of Charlie in the then newly launched series Mother-in-law.

In a past interview with Nairobi Wire, he revealed that the drunken Charlie was his own creation. He would write the scripts without getting any credits for almost a year.

It finally paid off and he started getting both the credits and the payment. This has completely changed his life and he even enrolled for theatre arts studies at Kenyatta University.

He has also gotten acting roles in other productions including: Intellectual Scum, Kaze ni Tatsu Lion, Sticking Ribbons and The Captain of Nakara. He has also been credited with being am editor for the show MaEmpress which aired on Maisha Magic East.

Personal Life

The talented actor is married and in December 2023 revealed that his company lost Sh7 million after he was betrayed by a friend.

This really affected him and he was not able to complete his degree in time. Speaking in an interview with Lynn Ngugi, he praised his wife for being understanding during the whole fiasco.

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