COMEDIAN DAVID WASAMBLA ON A MISSION TO SAVE BABIES DYING FROM HYPOTHERMIA
I was introduced to David for the 1st time on 9th March 2014 and little did I know I was meeting someone who would not only touch my life but is already changing the lives of many young ones. We hear of many artists doing something to give back to the society or for charity but this one man is making a difference through an initiative dubbed “Cheka Mtoi Aishi” saving babies who die due to Hyporthermia one heater at a time. Before giving more information on that, let’s meet David.
Pastor Dr David Adem Wasambla, the Founder and CEO of TKO (The King's Own) Company Ltd is a stand-up comedian with over 16 years of professional experience, 6 of which were in Russia. His professional career as a comedian begun when he was spotted by the highly acclaimed “MedikiKubani”, the champion stand-up comedy club in the Kuban State of Russia, Krasnodar.
His quick wit and fluency of the Russian language enabled him understand the intricacies of Russian humor and the fact that he could “bust a move” or two in the Russian traditional dance stylesxs.
He began doing “experiments” with mime since the tender age of 12 which gave him an edge when he introduced comedy mime into the genre of the Russian Comedy Club. He later joined the Choir and Drama Clubs in St Mary’s Boys Secondary School, Yala where he performed in the choir, and also in theatre plays both in English and French Languages. He was also one of the lead performers in the musical “Joseph and The Technicolor Coat”.
He is an ordained Pastor serving under the mentorship of Bishop Allan Kiuna in Jubilee Christian Church (JCC), Parklands, Nairobi and worked with the former Mbalamwezi Players and Dance into Space for 2 years at the Kenya National Theater (2002- 2004).
In 2003, he began performing short skits in church, first at Winners’ Chapel, Adams Arcade and later at Jubilee Christian Church. It was while at the JCC altar in Ngara and Parklands that Pastor Dr Wasambla begun his active career of stand-up comedy in the Christian sphere.
Most people recognize Pastor Dr Wasambla as the Eveready Watchman a few years ago in the hilarious Eveready Commercial. He has emceed several corporate activities including the December 2012 Mega Trade Fair, NGO staff events and weddings.
Pastor Dr Wasambla is also a preacher (of course) and a motivational speaker with a passion to see the youth of today make something of themselves… to help them realize the importance of their God given talents and the need to combine this with as good an education as possible. Hence the birth of TKO… not just to unleash Technical Knock Out on stress, depression and sadness but also to Train, equip and nurture talent according to Christ’s way.
In 2013, David was honoured with a Jubilee Insurance Samaritan Award from Jubilee Insurance for his “Cheka mtoi aishi” initiative. Cheka Mtoi Aishi! (Laugh and Keep a Baby Alive) is a CSR initiative that combines comedy and medicine to create awareness on how to prevent babies' death by hypothermia and raise funds to donate space heaters to all hospitals in Kenya. A SIMPLE ROOM/ SPACE HEATER WHICH CAN COST AS LITTLE AS ksh 6,000!
David says he first came up with the idea while working in hospitals in Meru and Moyale.
“I have seen many babies lose their lives within 24 hours of being born due to hypothermia because they are unable to generate their own warmth; or in their first week to pneumonia,” the 39-year-old says.
“The first few minutes are crucial to the good health of a newborn baby. Imagine how cold you feel when the temperature drops by a few degrees. Well, babies experience a ten-degree drop right after birth! The temperature in the womb is approximately 36 degrees centigrade, while room temperature is around 25 to 26 degrees. This is why a room heater is important — to keep the baby’s temperature stable while being dried and wrapped in warm clothing. The drop in temperature is the reason why even hospitals in the relatively warm areas such as the Coast, Nyanza and North Eastern also need heaters.”
The initiative is funded by the money the medical comedian makes from his stand-up comedy, well-wishers and the sale of branded merchandise.
His last project saw him travel to St. Thomas Nguviu boys high school in Embu(St Anne’s Girls High School) where a series of comical performances were done and motivational and mentorship talks also given to the students on alternative careers after school and how to maximize and make use of your God given talents.
Accompanied by Actor Gerald Langiri, Abel Mutua(Film Producer, stand- up comedian, actor), Comedian Prince Moha and actress Joy Kinyua, their aim was to raise funds to donate 2 heaters for the nearby Kibugu Health Center. The target was surpassed to the extent that it is now possible to donate 2 more heaters to Embu Level 5 Hospital (Embu County’s referral hospital).
Abel Mutua performing.
Joy Kinyua giving a talk.
Prince Moha performing a stand-up