Growing up, popular Churchill show comedian Kazungu Matano better known by his stage name Captain Otoyo, did not have much.
Opening up on his life journey during an episode of Churchill Show – The Journey with his boss Daniel ‘Churchill’ Ndambuki, Otoyo explained that his mother, at some point in their childhood, turned to illicit brew to make ends meet.
According to Otoyo, he and his siblings were tasked with keeping watch over their homestead in case of an unexpected raid by authorities.
“My mother was selling the illicit brew, all types of them, our job as the children was to ensure the coast was clear. AP’s were not scary, the scary guys were called KANU youth wingers, and when we saw them, we would whistle in a unique sound to alert the guys drinking inside,” he said.
One time while they were on the lookout, their area chief came to visit them one early morning and out of fear of being arrested, they all fled and didn’t come back till evening.
Contrary to their expectation, the area chief had actually visited them to congratulate Otoyo for his tremendous performance in KCPE.
“We all ran away from the compound, fearing we would be arrested. The chief tried to ask us to stop but we were long gone. He waited till the evening and when we came back my mum tried explaining why she was doing the illegal business but he was only interested in giving the information,” he added.
Having passed his primary school exams with flying colours, Otoyo was expected to cruise to high school but as fate had it, school fees,too, became a headache.
He went on to explain that the chief went out of his way and organized a fundraiser.
“School fees was not available but the chief was so interesting. He was happy for me and so he organised a harambee with no politician or any big person but the villagers came together.
“I am a community child. People brought their chicken, maize and so on. That is when I experienced barter trade. People auctioned their property,” he said.
His struggles did not end there.
Even after completing school, Otoyo had to toil for his daily bread and as his comical counterpart Felix Odiwuor alias Jalang’o explains, they tried everything.
According to Jalang’o, before a way opened for them, he and Otoyo would sometimes sleep hungry as they could not afford food but did not give up on their dreams.
“We ate rats together with Otoyo when we were hungry. You know when you have to eat a rat, it means you are desperate and tried everything in vain. A rat is the last food anyone can think of eating,” said the comedian.
The two have since managed to carve a niche for themselves in the comedy industry with an overwhelming following, portfolio and perks to boot!