Popular Comedian MCA Tricky Admits He Gets Paid Six Figures

In an exclusive interview, we read all about the life story of comedian MCA Tricke…

Why the name MCA?

It stands for Member of Chokora’s Assembly – where I once belonged as a street child. My signature style on the stage is a baggy grey coat, red shirt and a three quarter navy blue trouser.

My persona revolves around portraying the life and stories of Nairobi street boys. I put a funny twist to my street experience to entertain and educate my fans on what it really feels like to be out on the streets.

You had a bright future in school why did you quit and join the harsh street life?

The last born in a family of three, I was born to a humble family in Mombasa’s Makindu where poverty is so loud. I was enrolled at Ikungu Primary School in Makindu, Mombasa County but upon completing Class Eight in 2004, I did not have money to join secondary school. I was only 12 so I could not get a job.

MCA Tricky

My peers convinced me to accompany them to Nairobi in search of greener pastures without my parent’s knowledge.

The fact that I was idle, frustrated and needed to survive, I heeded to their plea only to realise that life in Nairobi was more difficult than I imagined. This drove me to the streets.

For a while, I stayed in Good Samaritans’ homes, hopping from one house to another. Eventually though, they got tired of hosting me and I was forced to taste the unforgiving life on the streets of Nairobi’s Saika Estate along Kangundo Road in Nairobi for three years.

What happened next?

I started working as an errand boy ferrying vegetables among other goodies to and from Gikomba market. That was the moment I came face to face with some of the meanest and angry people in Nairobi.

MCA Tricky

With time the innocent boy from Makindu gradually became someone else. I sniffed glue, smoke bang and got involved in crimes such as pick-pocketing and mugging. I did all these to survive.

What was your turning point?

After years of living dangerously on the streets, I had to take a different path. I joined the Barikiwa Set Book Group which helped in nurturing my talent as a comedian.

How did you make your way to Churchill Show?

Some friends and members of the group persuaded me and I decided to try my luck. I went for an audition at Carnivore grounds and the moment I got in I met Prof Hammo who, apart from being my role model, was very friendly to me. He encouraged me to follow my heart’s yearnings and I took his advice.

What was the audience’s first reaction upon being called on stage?

For a moment, I wasn’t sure what to expect from them since mine was a different style of comedy that revolved around my life story. For the first few minutes, they took pity on me judging by their reactions, but with time I could hear them roaring in laughter. I knew this was the beginning of good things to come.

Do you write your own routines?

My routines are spontaneous – based on things that I have been through in life, including life observations among the less privileged where I was part of. I use that character so people can stop overlooking the less fortunate and change their perception of street kids. Besides, no one wakes up and decides to be a chokara. You just sink into it like a bad habit; it can happen to anyone.

What happens if the audience don’t laugh?

Everyone has sets that don’t go well. The first few times, it feels really bad. But despite this I have learnt to live with it, being the hard-core type.

Have you encountered mean-spirited hecklers during your shows and, if so, how do you deal with them?

Most people come to a comedy show to enjoy rather than destroy it from the inside. More often than not, if someone is yelling things during a show, that person is drunk and doesn’t realise how loud they are while talking to a friend or perhaps they are just vocally enjoying the show and don’t understand that their action is disruptive.

Besides, real, mean-spirited hecklers are not as common as people think. In such cases, you can usually just politely ask the offender to be a little quieter for the sake of the show.

Do you think hecklers help the show?

Not more than I would be helping my production by shouting. The person onstage generally has a pretty good idea of how the show is supposed to go. “Speak when spoken to,” is a good rule for audience members.

You make a living out of comedy?

Yes, comedy pays well and my brand demands a six figure performance fee.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

Becoming a mentor to the less privileged, including many other aspiring comedians.

What are some of the life lessons you have learnt so far?

That life is a battlefield and not a playing ground. We are here for a short time hence the need to strive and make the best of it.


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