Unknown to many, not all the celebrities on TV, radio and blogs had a soft landing in life. They are role models and mentors but it all didn’t come easy. Celebrated comedian Felix Odiwuor aka Jalang’o, Heavy J Papa is one example.
His is an inspiring story of how he dealt with difficult circumstances growing up in poverty and hustling his way to be the media heavyweight he is today.
Proud of his background and always looking to inspire other struggling souls out there, Jalas shares his story with a lot of openness and emotion.
Born to a peasant parents, he talks about how his academic prowess was washed down because his father could not afford the fees at his dream national school- Maseno School in Kisumu.
Despite brilliantly passing his KCPE with 427 marks at Lake Primary in Homabay, Jalas would not make it to Maseno as he got there two weeks late after reporting and his chance had already been given to another student. His father had been organizing for fund drives and by the time he was getting the money, his slot was no more.
For the first time, Jalas narrates, he saw his father cry, and they cried together: “I had never seen my dad cry but that day we cried together. We walked to the main road and bordered a matatu back home.”
His father later took him to Bar Kanyango Secondary School in Siaya County, where he joined with his Maseno School uniform as his dad could not afford another new uniform.
"My old man could not afford another pair of school uniform. So for the whole of Form One, I was in a different uniform in a different school."
Having troubles paying his school fee, the father transferred him to Nyangoma Boys in Bondo where his dad would pay fees by supplying maize, beans and firewood to the school.
Jalang’o managed to score a C+ (plus) in his KCSE. Not able to join campus, Jalas ventured into fishing to make ends meet. He later came to Nairobi where he started hustling his ways until he had his breakthrough in comedy.