Veteran comedian Walter Mong’are has been appointed the drama ambassador for the 2019 edition of the Kenya National Drama and Film Festival.
Mr Mong’are’ was appointed recently by the Kenya Films Classification Board (KFCB) chief executive Ezekiel Mutua and drama festival chairman CJ Odhiambo
The comedian, whose stage name is Nyambane, is a product of the festival itself.He started performing as a student while at Lenana School, one of Kenya’s top performing schools.
After leaving Lenana, Mr Mong’are joined Kenyatta University (KU) where his acting career blossomed.
At KU, he teamed up with Mr John Kiarie (KJ), who is now an MP, and Mr Tony Njuguna to form Redykyulas, which become one of the best comedy shows on Kenyan screens.
In Redykyulas, Mr Mong’are usually caricatured former President Daniel arap Moi, aping his voice.
With KJ acting as Moi’s sidekick and then Kanu secretary-general Joseph Kamotho and Njuguna acting as Moi’s bodyguard, Redykyulas, which aired on NTV became a household name.
Redykyulas broke up to the consternation of many fans. Mr Monga’re continued his comedy career in Kiss FM where he featured in the morning show alongside the fiery Caroline Mutoko.
They formed a formidable team and pulled no punches.
KJ had a stint as a cartoonist before venturing into politics. He is currently the MP for Dagoretti North Constituency in Nairobi while Mr Njuguna went into advertising and seems to have retreated to a private life after fame as a TV comedian.
Mr Mong’are left Kiss FM and joined Nairobi County government’s communications department.
Citing Nyambane’s success as an artiste who was nurtured by the Kenya Schools and Colleges Drama Festival, Dr Mutua said that he is a role model for young and upcoming actors.
In his role, Mr Mong’are will interact with performers, directors, dance choreographers, adjudicators and others in the drama industry.
“Mong’are is a young person who has shown that one can excel in art and create a livelihood from it. That is why we picked him for this role,” said Mr Mutua during the unveiling.
The films, plays, dances and comedy performed at the festival will now recorded and availed to the general public.
On his part, Mong’are thanked Mutua and KFCB for appointing him to the role, saying that he will do his best to motivate those interested in pursuing careers in drama.