Akuku Danger Junior is a young, rising comedian. He tells Silas Nyamweya about his relation to the late Akuku Danger and the experiences of living in an incredibly large family, which has 1,200 grandchildren alone and why he ignores women, especially slay queens
Please introduce yourself
My official name is Mannerson Oduor Ochieng, but I am better known by the stage name of Akuku Danger. I come from Migori County and I’m part of the famous Akuku Danger family. I live in Ongata Rongai, Kajiado County.
Can you give us a glimpse of the Akuku Danger family?
My grandfather Akuku Danger senior had 264 wives, each of whom had her own homestead. So, you can imagine how big our compound was. I had so many uncles, aunties and cousins to the extent that we did not know each other. However, our home was our own community since we have our own leaders, our own church, school and even social hall. Almost all businesses in the area are owned by Akuku Danger family member.
Would you go the same way as your father in terms of relationships?
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Yes, although not to that extreme. Actually, my grandfather never cheated on his wives and made sure each was satisfied. You see, a lot of men today pretend to be happy with one wife, but they have several mpango wa kandos. Personally, I don’t mind having two wives. However, I have to make sure I am financially stable before marrying to avoid subjecting somebody’s daughter to misery.
At what point did you discover your acting potential?
While young, my discussions used to be entertaining to those around me. There was a time drama festivals were held in Migori and when I tried it out, I was considered and even went to provincial and national levels. This is when I realised my true potential was in acting.
How did you join Churchill Show?
I joined the show in December 2018 after previous auditions at Carnivore grounds went unsuccessful for almost a year. During the initial days, the adjudicators told me my jokes could not make anybody laugh, save for my grandfather. However, I wasn’t discouraged until I got it right. I thank my father for supporting me on this because he used to give me fare to go for auditions each Tuesday. And even when I failed, he did not lose hope in me or discouraged me.
What are you planning to do with your degree in communications?
I thank God for enabling me graduate from Multimedia University in 2019. I intend to use my skills and knowledge to set up a communications and PR firm in future. However, for now, I am fully engaged in comedy, which I truly love.
What did you want to be while growing up?
I wanted to be a lawyer. However, I veered off track, along the way, and decided to do something else. My decision to pursue a communications course was fuelled by a desire to be in the media and entertainment industry.
As a young comedian in the public limelight, how do you deal with women and slay queens who become obsessed with you?
I understand the importance of being a principled man. I ignore such advances since they are not sincere.
What embarrassing moment have you ever had on stage?
I haven’t had many embarrassing moments. But there was this time I was scheduled to perform at a show in Ukambani, but I happen I had a cold. My voice was really bad and I really struggled on stage. Thankfully the audience was appreciative.
What do you do when your spirit is low but you are needed on stage?
I have to do everything possible since the audience have to get value for their money. Mostly, I play soothing music to keep my spirits high. I also have to be brave and hide all the negative feelings while on stage.
Do you think Churchill Show is still a good platform for comedians?
Yes, of course, Churchill Show has created a lot of brands, including Chipuukezy, Eric Omondi and Teacher Wanjiku. Though it may be perceived as if it’s going down, the other brands will be able to support it.
What else do you do?
Comedy. I do this fully-time as an MC and entertainer.
Does comedy pay?
I can’t complain. As long as you are able to make your brand strong, you won’t miss gigs where you are paid handsomely.
Where do you get your material?
If you are a talented comedian, these ideas come naturally. You may be doing something or just sitting and an idea just comes to mind and you start constructing it. You don’t have to struggle.
What is your advice to young people who have graduated but have no jobs?
They should find something to do. Let them not wait for formal employment in their area of expertise, which may not be forthcoming. Today, the internet provides diverse opportunities for people to earn income with content creations on YouTube, blogs, social media etc. You don’t need a godfather to work online. People should look for these opportunities and make use of them.