Prof Hamo: The comedian professor who dropped out of college
Churchill Show comedian Professor Hamo has become the latest sensation in the laugh industry, always leaving audiences in stitches with his unique style.
The 35-year-old Nakuru ‘Professor’ is a college dropout having attended only two years of what was supposed to be a three years diploma in electrical engineering at Kisumu Polytechnic.
His decision was informed by lack of passion in electrical engineering.
He instead ventured into theatre and stand-up comedy in Nakuru while also selling mandazi and training dogs as a side hustle.
The comedian opened up to Nairobi News in a witty interview that this writer often mistook for a comedy act. It was hard to tell when he is being real and when he was in his element.
Who is Prof Hamo and why that stage name?
My name is Herman Kago hence the name Hamo who turned out to be professor after I looked at the level of my stupidity and realized niko na akili and since I used to spot a beard and an Afro hairdo, that is how the professor came to be.
You mentioned that you asked friends, does it mean you previously had a different stage name?
Initially I was just ‘Hamo the Entertainer’. That was back in 2014 before I did my breakthrough performance in the Churchill on the road Nakuru edition show. I had auditioned six times, the first time being back in 2011 when I was shown the door and told I had talent to be in the audience but not a performer.
Three years later I tried again a couple of times commuting from Nakuru every week for auditions but wacha mistari zianze kukataa kuja, nothing was forthcoming. I was pregnant with something but I did not know it was a miscarriage eventually I became broke again and stopped coming for auditions.
Having tried a couple of times without making it, how did you finally end up in Churchill Show?
In September 2014 I heard that Churchill Show was coming to Nakuru. I went for auditions and when they saw me hawakuamini natokanga Nakuru because I had never told anyone in the audition panel.
This time I had one killer line, mstari moja tu ndio iliweza, just one the rest were whack.
You disappeared from the comedy industry after the Nakuru show, what was happening?
I was performing during the recording sessions, but my acts were not being aired. At one time my performance was uploaded on YouTube and it went viral, that was the time I was featured in the open mic performance and in mid-January 2015 I did my first show as Professor Hamo adopting an incorporation of music into comedy.
Talking of singing, were you a musician at some point?
I used to be a bathroom artist but at some point I was coached and I joined my home church St Peters Catholic Church choir where I used to hit the high notes that I know pull off during the show.
You know a Professor ni ule mbuyu huwa anajiamini sana so if he does music he does it the best way because he thinks he knows even when he does not know the lyrics.
What is the family background of Herman Kago?
Well, I have a wife with two children. I have four brothers and my father is an ex-army officer now turned farmer while my mother was a housewife who instilled a lot of discipline in us.
Apart from comedy what else do you do?
I have electrical engineering knowledge as I studied the course majoring in power option at Kisumu Polytechnic for two years before I dropped out so I still freelance as an electrician.
I have also been a mandazi seller and a dog trainer provoking German shepherds as though am a robber just to get the beasts ready to deal with those who break into the affluent Nakuru homes.
Why did you drop out of school?
I was not ready to become a professional electrician. I just wanted to prove that I was good in it, but it was not my passion. So I eventually got tired and left college. My father never pressurised me to go back to school as he is the kind of parent who just watches you akisema maisha itakugonga.
As a comedian do you ever watch a recording of yourself performing?
Am always surprised when I see myself on TV because many comedians usually perform during the recording. So when I see my act on TV am usually impressed but I enjoy the show all the same.
Do you laugh at your own jokes when you watch the recorded show?
Sometimes I do… it is part of enjoying the show. But most of the times am not usually at home to watch the show as I am a busy professor.
Where do you get your content?
Everywhere… from matatu rides, I eavesdrop a lot when people are having conversations amongst themselves or during a phone conversation. I love reading inspirational books where I also get my content.
What is your dream audience that you would like to perform to in future?
Watu wa Mathari Hospital (pauses) unajua, if you can make a mad person understand a joke then you must be very good at what you do.