It was a flamboyant ceremony marked by glitz and glamour. As guests were ushered through the red carpet and into the well-lit mega dome, it was clear the extravaganza would live up to its hype.
Churchill was celebrating his birthday in style. He had invited more than 3,000 guests – including the President – in one of the biggest birthday parties.
At the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), tens of comedians turned up to honour the celebrated star; the entertainer who is responsible for most of their success stories, having helped nurture their careers through his popular comedy show, Churchill Live and his stable, the Laugh Industry.
It was here that Churchill’s influence came out, not only as a comedian and celebrated radio host but as one of the most influential Kenyans on the entertainment scene.
Amidst dance, song and merry-making, pleasant surprises too came calling. No, these were not your ordinary birthday gifts.
Machakos County Governor Alfred Mutua took to the stage and did a gig with Churchill. It was Mutua who appointed Churchill as one of the entertainers into his Machakos government Machawood Board alongside Peter Mutie, Caroline Mutoko, Stevens Muendo, Kentice Tikolo, Ken wa Maria, Victor Muniafu, Angela Mumo and Katua Nzile.
On this day he had come with big news as he pledged that he would name a road in the county after the veteran comedian.
Speaking as the chief guest at the ceremony, the Governor also pledged that he would tarmac the road that leads to the comedian’s Machakos home in his honour.
It was a night of pleasant surprises for Churchill as hundreds showered him with praises and gifts with his Classic FM Breakfast Show co-host Maina Kageni and James of Space Lounge giving him a brand new BMW 320 convertible worth Sh10 million.
The President was represented by State House Digital Director Dennis Itumbi while Mombasa governor Hassan Joho and his Nairobi counterpart Mike Mbuvi sent their recorded messages.
Attended by a host of politicians, businessmen, entertainment industry players and thousands of friends and fans, the glitzy event saw the coming together of Churchill’s friends from the then Redykyulass crew: Dagoreti South MP John ‘KJ’ Kiarie, Walter ‘Nyambane’ Mongare and Tonny Njuguna as well as Kajairo.
Also present was politician Isaac Mwaura and the reigning Miss World Africa Magline Jeruto.
It was both a fun-filled and an emotional night as a host of comedians took to the stage and cracked jokes even as they narrated how Churchill had given them a livelihood by nurturing their talent. In fact, when called to the stage to speak, Churchill almost broke to tears as he narrated about his humble upbringing and the challenges he faced before making it in the entertainment industry.
“It has been a long road and I thank God and all those who have supported me across the years,” he said.
Churchill begun as an act at the KNT (Kenya National Theatre) taking minor roles in local plays. Now, he is the king of comedy.
“When I look back, I see a lot of growth in the entertainment industry and credit goes to all who have believed in the industry since its infancy. I credit all those who have supported theatre and, lately, comedy. Now, we can stand up and claim that our comedy has come of age,” Churchill told Pulse.
“For me, it is no longer about my individual gains. I’m at the stage where I want to assist others through mentorship and giving any possible assistance to get the new generation of comedians to the next level,” he said.
“In fact, I want us to support every comedian in Africa. We are taking African comedy to the world.”
And come December 11, true to his word, Churchill will be hosting all the biggest comedians from across Africa among them Basket Mouth (Nigeria), Salvado (Uganda), Arthur Nkusi (Rwanda), Cotilda (Uganda), MC Pili Pili (Tanzania) as well as Kenya’s finest MC Jessy, Teacher Wanjiru, MCA Tricky, Oga Obinna, Professor Hammo and Jalang’o for what is expected to be a night of 1000 laughs.