Comedian Meshack Kiprop Biwott, popularly known as Arap Uria, has become an internet sensation after his latest skit went viral.
In the video that has left many social media users in stitches, he imitates Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen’s speech at the Senate.
Donning a brown hat, and an oversize brown coat with a walking stick in his hand, the comedian mimicked the legislator, compete with a bang to the table -- just as Murkomen did.
The video attracted thousands of views on Facebook and Murkomen took notice.
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The senator shared the video on his social media pages praising the comedian as a talented young man and even went ahead to joke that he ‘had a case to answer’.
The viral video was recorded after the acrimonious debate in the Senate on Monday over the contentious revenue sharing formula which saw spirited debates on floor of the House.
Biwott has been sharing his content on Facebook as well as his YouTube channel since 2018. He says his character of an old man, was inspired by his late grandfather Paul Uria.
He even chose his grandfather’s name to identify himself.
“I lived with my grandfather for the better part of my childhood and I looked up to him in so many ways. I saw how he interacted with people but his character was funny to me, so I decided to enliven it,” the comedian said.
He added that his grandfather gifted him his walking stick before he died, which he viewed as a blessing and uses it in his skits.
“He gave me the walking stick that is part of my costumes, it is my identity and I love it because I saw the stick as a blessing from him,” he told Standard Digital.
Born in Muskut in Elgeyo Marakwet and bred in Uasin Gishu County, Biwott chose to do his comedy in Kalenjin as it best brought out his grandfather’s character.
But the initial reception on social was not what he had hoped for. He trolled was imitating a drunkard – a behaviour that many argued was promoting bad morals.
The 25-year-old says he pressed on with the support of his family and his comedy has since attracted more followers to his Facebook page topping 50,000.
Biwott graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Education from Masinde Muliro University last year.
The Mathematics and Geography graduate says he hopes to step into the classroom once schools resume and still work on his comedy which is his true passion.
“I am a teacher by profession and I hope to practice teaching but still pay attention to comedy as it is my first passion since childhood,” said Biwott.
With the help of a few friends, the upcoming comedian has managed to shoot and produce many videos for his audience but he dreams for a wider reach.
He said that other local comedians like Tula have been instrumental in advising him on the trade.
Like any other career, his comedy had been dealt a big blow since social gatherings were banned in the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Biwott says he now relies on the social media platforms to grow his brand.
“I used to thrive through social gatherings and especially weddings as I would get invitations to do my comedy or even be a master of ceremony. Such opportunities were a source of my income and also expanded by brand,” he added.