Ty Ngachira's Being Kenyan: A night of world class stand up fog, lights and a terrible MC

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From tenders to wash wash, there are many interesting ways to make good money in Kenya, legally or illegally. So far, one of the most attractive money-making directions is corruption and leadership. I mean, look at the transformation that happens when a politician is elected into office.

If those roads are too challenging, you can go to school and become a lawyer, making even more money by representing the said individuals in their numerous court cases, thus making a good amount of money, legally this time.

What doesn’t make sense is why an individual would walk away from getting paid to stand infront of a court to represent people, to standing up in front of people to try to make them laugh in an industry still in its infancy.

Enter Ty Ngachira.

Ty Ngachira, Being Kenya stand up special.

Stand-up fans had the opportunity to witness Ty Ngachira's stand up special at the Louis Leakey Auditorium on the first Saturday of April 2024.

Briefly, Ty is a stand up comedian and writer. Some may remember him from the TV show TMI (Too Much Information), while others might have seen him in the open mic space, he is also a lawyer.

Being Kenya

Just by the title, seated as a part of the audience, the first thing that came to mind was social commentary. My hope was that it wouldn’t take the Churchill show direction.

The first thing that struck me was the stage. Since they were recording the special, it was much flashier than expected, with a contrasting colour scheme of red and green lighting, That, plus the addition of flashing lights at the end of each performance I thought detracted from the simplicity of stand-up. However, things may look different visually onscreen, I mean the organisers brought out all the guns including a fog machine.

But we are here to evaluate the Live experience of the show. Was it a worthwhile experience for a live audience? Let’s take a closer look.


My opinions are based on my experience as an audience member during the live recording of the stand-up. It does not serve as a reflection of what the final product will look like, thanks to the power of editing and post-production, the final product might be totally different.

The show was sold out, prompting the organisers to schedule two consecutive performances. My perspectives are shaped by my experience during the first show.

I will try to keep this as spoiler-free as possible

The Master of Ceremony (MC)

The MC was evidently not a comedian but rather more like that uncle who takes on the role of MC at an event just because they can make one or two of their friends laugh.

Unlike Rapcha the Sayantist's "Unkut 3", where Doug Mutai served as the MC and effectively fired up the audience at the beginning of the show, Amani's communication approach (based on the nature of stand-up comedy) was lacklustre and uninspired, devoid of any comedic flair. He relied on mediocre and cliché jokes in an attempt to engage the audience and was not effective in laying out the tone of the show.


Casually dressed and confidently present, Amandeep or should I say A-man-deep came in hyper-aware of what was about to go down, even making note of the fog that almost suffocated the stage.

Amandeep is one of those comedians who seems effortlessly prepared, whether from years of experience or just talent. Instead of pacing across the stage, he commands it with just a few steps and turns, directly engaging the audience every now and then. His material ranged from witty observations around things like his name, SGR, the Indian community, to more risqué topics like handjobs.

While some of his material may be familiar to those who’ve followed him, he maintains an unpredictable delivery that keeps the audience engaged. At one point, towards the end of his act, he went "deep" with some of his material, eliciting strong reactions from the audience. Unlike the MC, he effectively set up the stand-up nature of the material to come from the next (and main) act Ty.

Ty Ngachira (The main event)

Like the Energizer Bunny from the late 90s commercials, Ty Ngachira took the stage casually dressed in a white t-shirt and jeans, and got into it like his life depended on it.

The theme/title wasBeing Kenyan, so his material, as mentioned earlier, delved into social commentary, heavily focusing on current affairs that of late dominated the news either on TV or social media platforms such as X. What set him apart was his ability to dissect these scenarios and give them his own unique humorous twist, covering topics from Jowie, tourism, femicide, and Kenyan police officers in Haiti and many more (he covered a lot).

Ty Ngachira delivered an hour and fifteen minutes blend of familiar and fresh sets, impressively transitioning between setups, providing context, and delivering well-timed punchlines.

While most comedians lean heavily on storytelling and narrative-based setups, Ty opted for shorter bits separated by random one-liners and relatable observations, which kept the audience engaged without any loss of pacing or humour.

His fast-paced delivery didn’t lose the audience; instead, he brought them along for the ride. The randomness and callbacks were on point, and although some jokes took a moment to hit, the audience stayed with him for the most part.

Unlike some comedians who rely on audio cues to drive home a joke, Ty didn’t use gimmicks like tapping the mic on his leg, relying instead on his material and delivery.

While he didn’t utilise the entirety of the stage, likely due to the recording setup, his movement and body language were engaging enough, although his material already did most of the heavy lifting.

With that one hour and fifteen minutes, he was able to give the audience a solid stand-up experience. Everything else was.. well let's talk about it


This event was a recording of a stand-up special, but I still don’t understand why they needed all the lights and a fog machine. The fog might play a big part in creating an atmospheric picture, but at times it was excessive, to the extent Amandeep had to comment on it. The stage at some point looked like a sauna.

The flashing lights could have been problematic for those with epilepsy. Yes, I understand it was for the recording, but they should have at least warned people.

However, the biggest miss of the evening was the MC. Think of that uncle who MCs family events (like ruracio) because he can make a few friends laugh at the bar.

He had zero comedic chops and couldn’t set the tone of the show in relation to the evening’s theme and stand-up in general. His biggest flaw was his inability to effectively set up the two acts of the evening, failing to build excitement and anticipation.

It was evident from the start that he didn’t quite understand the craft and audience and made no effort to prepare for it. When introducing the stand-up artist, it was like he was reading from the comedian’s Wikipedia page, most likely because he was reading from his phone. I kept wondering why they didn’t get a stand-up comedian to MC, someone who understands what it took Ty and Amandeep to get there, someone who could effectively set up the theme, tone, and pace of the show.

People paid for a stand-up special, which was also being recorded. So, I was baffled when, after the curtain raiser, we spent close to 20 minutes hanging around listening to music in an age where most of the audience has Apple Music or Spotify. This time I thought could have been given to upcoming talents to showcase their skills.

The closing (for the first event) was mishandled, primarily because of the lacklustre MC and the organisers’ apparent lack of understanding of the audience. You just don’t tell people to leave; this was not a house party.


Ty Ngachira delivered an enjoyable hour and fifteen minutes of world-class stand-up. From Kenyan stereotypes to some deeply personal jokes, it was evident that he had spent a lot of time polishing and preparing his material, resulting in one of his most cohesive deliveries yet. Despite some over-the-top and unnecessary stage shenanigans, along with 20 minutes of unrequested music and perhaps the worst MC I have ever seen, Ty, backed by Amandeep, did not disappoint. They were able to give the audience what they came for and more.

All in all, it’s safe to say that this was a truly Kenyan experience.

Something that had been lingering in the back of my mind ever since is this: when recording a stand-up special with a live paying audience, the focus should be on giving those people the best experience possible, and then recording that experience, rather than the other way around.

X: @stanslausmanthi

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