One-on-One with Professor Hamo of Churchill Show
Herman Gakobo Kago or Professor Hamo to his fans had no idea he would end up on the silver screen just two years ago.
Professor Hamo was born and brought up in Nakuru County, Lanet military as his father was in the army, KDF soldier.
Professor Hamo Education Background
He went to Kenyatta and Nakuru East primary schools, then went to Nakuru Day for high school and later went to Kisumu Polytechnic, the only time he studied outside Nakuru county.
Professor Hamo who is an electrical engineer by profession and studied electrical engineering at the Kisumu Polytechnic but dropped out of school.
In remarking why he dropped out of college, Professor Hamo said:
First of all, my going to college was to prove a point to my family that I could actually do something with my life. I lost the morale halfway and started missing classes. I finally dropped out and went back to Nakuru.
After dropping out of college, Professor Hamo had to make ends meet by involving himself if different petty businesses.
I started hustling here and there to make ends meet, mostly by engaging myself in different businesses.
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Despite going up to college level to study electronics, Professor Hamo, remarks,
Up to date, I have never touched any electronic work, other than changing a light bulb. When I left college, I forgot about it completely.
So, how did he make ends meet?
I started going to the Nakuru theater, where I met many thespians. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. I joined a band called Tamasha as a vocalist. This is like four or five years ago. But I still wasn’t happy. Most of the people I went to school with were doing well and had jobs.
Was the band really paying him enough?
I was getting very little from a band that had about five people. So I started a mandazi business. I would cook them and transport them to the shops using a bicycle. That’s how I survived.
When asked by Buzz whether it was profitable, he said:
Well, it grew from one crate to several crates a day, but I was getting too tired. I didn’t have time to sleep or rest because I was always cooking, transporting or going back to the shops to collect cash. I gave up on that. But I still sang in the band.
I learned that they audition on Tuesdays in Nairobi, so when I first traveled to Nairobi last year to try my luck, the judges didn’t even listen to me. They just chased me out of the stage. I did not give up, I kept on going back to the auditions.
Had you tried comedy before?
Not at all. Even in school, I never did. I was very shy while in school, so I never tried things that would make me stand in front of people. The only thing that gave me confidence was being in a band.
At what point were you accepted during the auditions?
The judges never accepted me. Not until when they finally did Churchill on the Road and ended up in my hometown Nakuru. That’s when I tried my luck again.
How did that go?
One of the judges, Allan Weku, remembered me. He had no idea I used to go to Nairobi all the way from Nakuru just to audition. He particularly liked the ‘Njooni mlio lemewa na mizigo’ joke, and he gave me a chance. That’s how it all began. I started off as Hamo, the Prof bit came later.
When was that?
Late last year. After the Nakuru show went well, I had more opportunities to perform in Nairobi during the recording of the show at the Carnivore. The first few shows, with the help of people like Weku and other comedians, I was able to create the character Prof Hamo. It has been a wonderful journey so far.
What makes you different every day as Prof Hamo?
I take daily life challenges and create the comical side. I listen to people, look at different situations that happen in real life and I make jokes out of that.
Lots of comedians who do very well tend to get greedy and start their own shows prematurely, what do you say about that?
Being in the band taught me about being patient in life. I believe I’m still learning now and I will continue to listen to mentors like Churchill. I still audition every Tuesday because I believe in learning new things every day.
Do you still live in Nakuru?
From Tuesday to Thursday I’m always in Nairobi and spend my weekend with family and friends in Nakuru. I love remaining humble, even with the new fame.
Tell me more about your family?
I am the fifth born in a family of eight. None of my siblings are in showbiz.