Radio presenter and stand-up comedian Francis Kibe alias Rapcha the Sayantist has revealed that the late Benson Wanjau, better known as Mzee Ojwang' helped mould his career. Celebrating his fifth death anniversary, Rapcha revealed that it was in 2001 when Mzee Ojwang' offered him a chance that would play a big role in defining his future as an actor and comedian.
According to the presenter, at that time he was only a young actor who had broken through into the cast of Vioja Mahakamani, but was only doing fillers as he was not part of the main cast.
"He told me to go out there and shine in front of the crowd, and if it got difficult, he would come on stage and help me out. I went out there and 20 minutes later I returned backstage, and he took over on stage,” he said.
Rapcha was part of a group of KBC actors led by Mzee Ojwang' that went to perform at an Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) show in Nairobi. He further revealed that he was given the task of collecting entrance fees as the group entertained show-goers with various acts. When the place was full, Rapcha left his station at the entrance to inform Mzee Ojwang' that it was time to go on stage as the crowd was eagerly anticipating him.
Mzee Ojwang', however, wasn't keen on taking to the stage just yet and instead, offered Rapcha the chance to entertain the crowd before he wrapped up the show.
"It was very important for me because it was what actually showed me that I could do it on my own, that I could entertain without being part of a group. That is when I started getting more into stand-up comedy as well," he added.
Commenting about the current comedy industry, Rapcha noted that back then, it was easier for upcoming talent to emerge and thrive.
"All I am saying is, in that generation, no one tried to own the industry and this allowed for new talents to constantly emerge. At the moment, you have to ask yourself where the comedians who are not part of various cliques are supposed to go," he noted.
Mzee Ojwang’ died of pneumonia while in the hospital in July 2015. He was aged 78 years old.
Before his death, Mzee had played key roles in local programmes Vitimbi, Vioja Mahakami, Vituko and Kinyonga among.