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Too Salty For our Own Good?

What is it in us that makes us all apathetic to the good things happening around us? Why is our default feeling that of vain and bitterness? As a people we have become revelers in doom and opponents of the beautiful and the good at the same time.

This Saturday, Churchill, the celebrated comedian marks his 15th year of entertaining the nation. Most likely you’ve heard of the much publicized event from the indefatigable social media personalities pushing the event’s hashtag with unbridled gusto and bravado. As is to be expected, this has triggered mixed reactions from the audience that is the social media enthusiasts who are the ones being targeted with the hope of making the show a sell-out.

Over at our group too we have exchanged thoughts, views and opinions on the matter. Now people are bound to talk, but what took me aback was the nature and amount of brimstone being directed at the man at the centre of the storm, Churchill, in this case represented by the unfortunate person(s) who dared to try to convince the rest of us to attend the show and participate in his adulation. How dare they unashamedly mislead the masses to attend the personal crowning of a fraud in the rib-cracking stakes? Who do they think they are? And this Churchill, why is he full of himself after a decade and a half of serving us yawn-fest after yawn-fest in the name of comedy?

Now first of all, I’m not one the brand ambassadors for this particular endeavour, neither am I in any way linked to the show, either as a backstage crew member or as part of the ticket holders counting the hours before they can become part of audience. I’m just someone got caught in the middle of the cross fire, just staring, nodding and shaking my head constantly. So don’t start forming rushed opinions of me at the end of the final full stop.

Generally people can’t understand what’s being celebrated when the bloke all the while has been anything but funny. The fact that tickets for the event are being priced so exorbitantly at a time as economically lean as this only serves to stir up the vitriol. Let us pause a little though. Churchill is not celebrating 15 years of being funny, is he? I mean, come think of it, can anyone be funny for all that long? Wouldn’t all the funny-ness have driven them to their grave before even half the duration had elapsed? Not to mention the fact they would have been declared insane and shipped off to the most stringent maximum security facility version of asylums? But I digress, apologies. The guy is merely commemorating 15 years of his career in the aptly named or otherwise entertainment industry. So let’s tone down on this ‘he’s not funny’ vibe.

On Sunday evenings I’ve always made a point of watching the Churchill Show, well, that is if there’s no Premier League or Bundesliga match of note on at the time. It’s not because I’m a big fan, but with all the bland shows and telenovelas that dominate national tv, I find it a welcome alternative. And to be honest, Churchill is not exactly funny on the set, but then again that’s not the role he plays. All he does is that he sets the stage for his protégés to do their thing, which is nominally to try and make the live audience and by extension the rest of the country glued to their screens for close to an hour forget about their problems and just laugh. To be even more honest, I don’t find a lot of stuff there worth making me laugh, but I still do watch. Why? The guests on show, you always learn something new from these people who are otherwise just enigmas you hear or read about. Also it’s always refreshing to see the lengths Kenyan youth are willing to go to make people listen to them and laugh. And you’ve got to give Churchill the credit for the platform and the building up he’s done for some of these guys who otherwise would have been wasting away in God knows where.

There’s no denying that his is one of the premium brands that this country has to contend with. Like him or not, if you are a hotshot representing a corporate with serious ambitions, you’re going to want a slice of the Churchill Show airtime to sell yourself. The influence he and his gang of comedians and the rest of the crew wield over the average household cannot be ignored or wished away. That’s just how it is. Sure, you don’t have to like what he does and how he does it, but all the venom surely is not necessary. Then again, maybe it’s not all bad that the firing squad unit of the keyboard warriors are having a go. Maybe that’s the whole point and the guy still wins. You’d rather be talked about, than not, right? No publicity is bad publicity, after all.

At some point though, we have to dispense with the ‘saltiness’ that we notoriously develop whenever someone prominent is doing something that captures the imagination of many. Or don’t you think so? Are we just irredeemably angry? And if that’s the case, can’t we direct that anger to places and people who could really do with the good old rebuke? A good place to start is departments/individuals making away with scandalous amounts of public money. That should get us going for a while. Let us summon every ounce of this pent up anger and disgust and give it to them good. Remember, no one does it better than we do. Go get them, tigers. Finish them.

The Churchill Show may be awash with ‘tribal’ jokes – which to be fair I don’t have a beef with considering the other comedians you fancy also make us laugh at these differences in people albeit in forms like race, origin and so on. But the guy is simply looking back and reflecting on 15 years of an incredible journey from a nobody to one of the most recognizable brands in Kenya. He may have employed the underhand, the nauseating, the boring and the monotonous in him to get there, but he’s gotten there. Let him be.



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