Jalango was Born in Kisumu county,Kenya,Jalango’s real name is Felix Odiwuor. He is an actor,a radio presenter and a comedian.Jalas is popular for his green branded suit. Jalang’o net worth is not very clear since he doesn’t like exposing his wealth so much to the public.
Early life and education
In the chance that you have ever attended any of the events where he is the MC or seen interviews he has done, he acknowledges his humble beginnings and says that he is a proud graduate from the school of hard knocks. Jalas has lived in numerous slums and has walked to Nairobi’s industrial area to seek employment.
Jalango fell in love with acting profession and would often visit the Kenya National Theatre to test out various roles. Starting from here is where his talent was discovered and jointly with his friend Kazungu Matano were handed roles on Citizen TV’s Papa Shirandula.
Jalas comic side seemed to begin opening doors for him as he was later involved in various TV ads. Having no college or university degree Jalas has become one of the highest paid MC /current Event organisers in Kenya and is currently the C.E.O of Arena Media. The comedian also hosts the show Jalango with the money on KTN.
He was born Felix kodhe decades ago.Trend of going to bed at night hungry was the order of the day during his childhood. Jalango moved from one slum to another in search of place of residence. He also did all sorts of jobs so as to make ends meet including hard manual jobs like mjengo. He had a relatively decent level of education in his life ,time that saw him finish his high school education. Recently he was pursuing a higher level of education majoring in marketing at Daystar University.
Jalangos Big Break
Little did he know, good times smiled at Jalango. Having known that he needed more than to dream life in the slum, living one day at ago, Jalango tried his luck in acting. While at the Kenya National Theatre, Jalango started his acting career with his pay just ranging from meal laced with compliments to just Ks 6 200 shillings.
Jalango also ventured in to acting high school set books,a venture where he would travel far and wide in the country in order to get food, rent and the so much needed acting experience. Looking for a game changer, Nyambane and his crew started acting Luo cultural plays that gave them the needed attention and feedback that enabled them stand out from the rest. Was during this time in 2007 that Jalango was invited to feature in a single episode of ‘Papa Shirandula’ a comedy series in Kenya where he showed exemplary performance that hoisted him into the big league.
Jalang’o s Other Ventures
Following stepping into big screen acting papa shirandula, Jalango has been a busy person. While in Churchill show he pushed his acting comedy roles to the full limits. He was also privileged to be endorsed with a contract by KTN of standard digital network for the crazy comedy show where he moved many fans to tears with his hilarious utterances. Above this, Jalango ventured into radio as an expansion of his acting career. Jalas co- hosted the big breakfast alongside Caroline Mutoko and Larry Asego at Kiss FM radio. Being an ambitious person, Jalango is also a businessman and co- founder of Arena Media marketing agency. The agency main purpose is to organize elegant events for their clients. They also deals with commercial advertisement for clients for different products on TV.
Even though Jalango has a full history, his ambitions still run deep and he is still growing his career. Even while he is now focusing on his company, it would not be wise to strike him off as a done deal in terms of comedy. While Still focusing his time and energy on different roles, Jalas hopes that he will someday help many people achieve their dreams by launching a platform for them to showcase their upcoming talent. Even as difficult as his childhood was, Jalango is now living life large, a product of his tears, sweat and unwavering dedication.
Some sources say that at the present the comedian charges at least Ksh 250,000 when he appears as an MC at your event. The celebrity is invited to at least 4 events in a month
The comedian is a family man with one child with his long term girlfriend and fiancée chekoiyet boiyo
10 Things You Did Not Know About Jalang’o
A few of the things you need to know about Odiwuor AKA Jalas includes:
- Jalas has *shared same flight with President Uhuru*. The event was during the launch of KQ dream-liner, both Jalang’o and President Uhuru boarded the Triple 7-200 flight from Nairobi to London. The duo shared light moments even though both of them were headed for different missions.
- Jalas is *a single father*, even though dating. In an interview with The Standard on 19th September 2014, he revealed that he has a family of three brothers, two sisters, a mother and a daughter called Salika.
- Jalango *donated one million cash money* to his village church. It was presented in bunches of different notes ksh sh.50,sh.100, sh. 200, sh. 500 and sh. 1000.
- Celebrated comedian of Vioja Mahakamani,* Ondiek Nyuka Quarter is his role model*. Jalas claims that he has been inspired by Ondiek from the time he was a young boy. A young Jalango loved Vioja Mahakamani since his childhood.
- Jalas struggled in Nairobi slums* before rising to fame,even sold water and did all manners of work including ‘mjengo’ so as to make ends meet.
- His career started by doing Luo comedy at Kenya Cinema*. With such performances, he created contact with other well established comedians in Kenya such as Nyambane. Jalas used such contracts to rise. Some samples of Luo plays he acted includes popular ‘Kibrit Olwar E Pi’ translating to ‘matchbox has dropped on water’.
- Jalas had been arrested of activism*. On the 2008 Jamhuri Day celebration, Jalango and other civil right activist tried to disrupt the event while protesting over proposal by members of parliament to shield their income from taxation. He was arrested and later released.
- Jalas acted as Chief Nanga* in a Nigerian play “A Man Of The People” by Chinua Achebe. It was back in 2005 when the book was a literature set book in Kenya.
- Jalas is an entrepreneur*. The comedian owns a marketing agency called Arena Media. Jalas interest in marketing has seen him advance his education to higher level by studying Marketing at Daystar University.
- Jalas loves Range Rover sports cars*. The comedian reveals his love for Range Rover in his twitter handle, claiming he is saving to buy one.
The untold story of Jalang’o
Most Kenyans perceive the celebrities they see on TV, listen to on Radio or read about in the Kenyan dailies as people with a soft start in life, that these peoples’ lives have been a bed of roses since birth, some really want to be like them in all aspects without trying to focus on what it took such celebrities to be where they are at the moment, here is an inspiring anecdote that would change your perception about such celebrities and encourage you.
One perfect example that would answer the Kenyan with such a mindset is the story of a vibrant and celebrated Kenyan media personality and a celebrity; the celeb goes by the name Felix Odiwuor AKA Jalas, Heavy J papa, the once morning talk show radio presenter alongside Jeff Koinange on Hot 96, yes,that Hot breakfast show.
Jalas is also the C.E.O of Arena Media, the company that brings you The Luo Festival thrice every year. The celebrity is also the Kenyan top MC. Most times when many youths see him on TV or listen to him on radio, they think that he just woke up one morning and found himself at the top of the game. Now here is the untold story about this man.
Jalang’o s Birth
He was born and raised in Homabay town in South Nyanza; Jalango was born in a family with a very humble background, both his parents were native famers who could toil to provide for their lovely children, they basically lived a simple life, even the basic were not basic to them. The family could afford food today and miss the same tomorrow.
Jalas attended his primary school in Homabay Lake primary school in Homa Bay town, waking up at dawn walking all the way to school for eight consecutive years bear footed in the morning dew and when the sun was overhead scorching ,Jalas walked on the heated ground just bare footed, other pupils would always break for lunch when the time comes, Jalango would at times go back home for lunch only to find nothing to eat, he would resort to drink water and get back to school, with all this problems Jalango remained focused in his studies never to give up at any given point of his life.
Working hard seldom goes unpaid, Jalas indeed gave his O level exams his best and passed with 427 marks that resulted to him getting a calling letter to join Maseno National school in Kisumu county, but then there was a problem at home, despite his colourful performance in the O level exams, his dad could not afford to pay his secondary school fees, even worse still, it was a national school where fees and entry requirements were slightly demanding than the other local schools around. His father then had to call a few of his friends and relatives and organized for a fundraising to finance his high school studies.
Only a week later, as if luck was not on their side, after organizing for a fundraiser and soliciting funds for school fees, things never went as planned. Jalas together with his dad travelled several kilometers from Homa bay town to Maseno School in Kisumu county, almost 200 kilometers away, only to reach the school and be informed that Jalango’s chance has already been given to another student and that Jalango could not get admission into the school since they came a week late from the official admission date.
That was an utter disgrace and disappointment to both the dad who did all he could to raise funds to bring his dear son to the school he duly qualified for to acquire further studies, Jalango stood with his box on his hands and fully dressed in a Maseno school uniform not knowing what to do next.
The duo had no option but to travel back to Homa bay town to try and look for another way, the dad then decided to take him to Bar Kanyango secondary school in Siaya County, where Jalas joined with the Maseno school uniform since his dad did not have any extra penny to buy him a new school uniform. Again, school fees was a problem in the first year, it forced his father to transfer him to Nyangoma Boys in Bondo,Siaya county where his elder brother George was schooling. In that situation therefore meant that George had to drop out of school to enable his younger brother Jalango to continue with his studies.
Jalango’s dad could pay fees with virtually anything he had, he could supply the school with maize, beans and cooking firewood, Jalango often felt embarrassed when his father came to school during the assemblies and every one could stare at his father carry the cereals to school, some students could mock or even make fun of him or the father, what pained him dearly at heart, but he endured all that pain.
Jalango toiled through the high school hard life and finally managed a C+ in KCSE exams, at the time a C+ was an equivalent of an A plain in a National school like Maseno School, that school in Bondo had no resources, from teachers to learning materials like the laboratory, students had to toil by themselves to pass, things like Bunsen burner were stories to them, they only came to see it during the KCSE examination which they wrote in a neighboring school which had those equipment, by now you can imagine how hard the young man had toiled to get that result.
One year later, students who had done their KCSE exams the previous year where busy discussing the colleges and universities they were going to join and the big courses they were going to undertake. By this time time, on the other hand Jalango’s dad was so quiet and did not touch any issue to do with his further education, Jalango got curious and he reached out to his dad to inquire on whether he was to join an institution of higher learning just like his other colleagues who had qualified just like him.
Jalango’s dad had never before laughed like that before, his dad then looked at him and said unto him “My son, you have just witnessed the toil and struggle I have gone through to take you through your high school studies, what in your same right mind think I can afford to pay your high school fees?” this words broke his heart, he had no response nor further questions to his dad. That implied that he was to remain at home as his fellow age mates joined institutions of higher learning, it was so unbearable to him but he had no alternative but to stay at home.
Jalang’o: The fisherman
While At home, he could not just sit and be provided with everything from A to Z, he became a fisherman in Homa Bay, fishing in the great Lake Victoria, while others were sleeping at night, Jalango was out there the in the cold at the middle of the cold lake fishing, bare chested, with mosquitoes all over the lake, casting their nets into the lake and at dawn, Jalango could be at the shore selling fish to business women who waited by the shores.
He did this for a while and left it for fish mongering at Capital Fish company limited based in Homabay, It was a company that was buying fish from local fishermen, processing and packaging it for transportation to Kisumu city for airing to other parts of the country, Jalango got a job of packing fish into the large company coolers used to transport them, as you can guess, this job was very tiresome and only required those who could persevere, reason being, there was too much work and the pay was so little that could not sustain him.
Jalang’o: Journey to Nairobi
One day came this fateful morning when Jalango work up in the morning set to go for regular work, then his dad called him and told him, “My son I know this is not the best for you, take this my two shirts, two pair of trousers and 800 shillings, go to college and go be a good man”.
Jalas set on a journey the following day to the capital Nairobi, he was received well by one of his relatives who lived in Lavington, he was oriented to the house and taught how to use various “modern” appliances in the house, after two weeks, he was well conversant with the everything in the house, the relative then fired the previous staff and made Jalas to a houseboy to do virtually everything in the house. He one day thought to himself “look, this is not what I wanted” he left Lavington to go and stay with his uncle, Ochieng’ who lived in Quarry, Embakasi right in the slum.
Jalas while staying with his uncle, Ochieng’, ventured into arts which he had loved and embraced since he was in high school,back in high school he was virtually in every co-curricular activity, be it music, drama or even sports, the fact was that Jalango could do anything possible to go out on school functions and it became a common knowledge that outing team couldn’t leave without Jalango inside it, this is where the passion for arts all started.
Jalango had this passion and talent but did not really know where to begin, he had started making a few contacts with friends here and there, meanwhile Jalango in his work to help his uncle in putting food on the table, he did all manner of manual jobs anyone could ever think of, most of which were so weird, be it “Mjengo”- building jobs, car wash, counting and packaging of sweets at an Indian company, ideally Jalango did any job he could come by to put food on the table.
With that after work, he used to go for each and every theatrical audition he could come by, he tried several auditions, failed and still went back without ever giving up, after all this trials, he finally got a chance to audition at the Kenya National Theater and luckily got a chance for the second cast.
Jalango played the role of a second cast for three years, going for rehearsals every single day after coming from work, Ochieng’ could sponsor his fare and miscellaneous that he could use during his frequent rehearsals, he gave him the moral and financial support he would need to pursue his passion in arts, this someone he still appreciates his efforts until current time,other of his uncles in Nairobi did not see the future in what he was doing at the Kenyan national theater but he stood determined and focused on the journey, neither did he lose focus nor never gave up at any single moment.
While At the Kenya National Theater, there were several renowned actors and cartels that owned the theater and could not allow any minnow like Jalas to get a place at the top ; they staged set book plays to high school students and also some commercial plays.
A day came, the theater group went out to stage a Swahili set book titled “Mwisho Wa Kosa” in a school where several other schools had congregated to what they set book, the show was big since many students came, there was a huge gate collection, so each person was paid his share. Things happened that one of the main casts went drinking and partying that night.
Following day, the team was to perform again, time came for the Swahili play to be staged, the director could not locate one of the main characters who was to start off the Swahili play, he was nowhere to be seen,he was probably drunk somewhere, probably still having hangovers elsewhere, because time was moving very fast and the students present were eagerly waiting to watch the play and set back to their respective destinations, the director had no option but to give Jalango a chance to take that role in the play.
Jalas took to the stage and was to narrate the intro to the play, the other members of the grouped stood by the window side, some peeped by the curtains just to witness how Jalango was going to spoil their play, and to their surprise, he articulated the lines so fluently in Swahili that he got a huge applause from the teachers and the students in the audience when he was done with the intro.
Book play director was very amazed for there was none who had been given a standing ovation before. The director was pleased with Jalango’s presentation, he decided to send away the main actor and have Jalango take his role henceforth, and indeed this was his first breakthrough in theater.
Following gaining experience in the theater they started acting vernacular commercial plays in the theater, more people could come to watch than never before, prominent leaders who loved art like Professor Anyang’ Nyongo-the governor Kisumu county could not miss their plays.
That motivated him and propelled him to do even more; he could now script and act out the scripts perfectly. Jalas went ahead and produced his first Luo based film entitled “Kibrit Oluar E Pii”. It was a very sensational comical drama that was the talk of town at that time. He rise to fame had just begun.
A single major attribute of Jalango that is not known by many is that he is one guy who doesn’t like being in comfort zone, waking up every single time always resilient. Jalas decided to try something on television, fortunately enough this came at time when Citizen TV had just started airing local drama programs like Papa Shirandula, Inspekta Mwala, among others, Jalango got a chance to appear on TV on the popular show-Papa Shirandula
Jalang’o: Papa Shirandula
Finally The actual plan was that they were to appear on a single scene where Wilbroda-Papa Shirandula’s wife was to get married and relatives from Ugenya,Siaya county would come to witness the event, that’s how Jalango and Otoyo got to TV, Jalango said to Otoyo, “this is the chance we have been waiting for, if we lose it, even God himself will not forgive us, so when that camera rolls, let’s do anything possible to grab this golden opportunity”.
It paid well, when the cameras rolled, Otoyo and Jalango did their own storyline contrary to what was in the script, they did it so well that the director of the scriptt had to find a way to fix them into the programme by saying that after the marriage, on their way back to Ugenya, Jalango and Otoyo jumped through the window and are somewhere in Nairobi. Simple,it was how they got incorporated into the skit.
Papa Shirandula: Kiss 100
Later Events unfolded at an alarming rate, while still on the Papa Shirandula TV programme, Nyambane had just left Kiss 100 and the management had to find a perfect replacement on the popular morning radio show with Caroline mutoko. As such they advertised far and large for the vacancy.Qualified applications came in their thousands.
And Time came for the shortlisted applicants to face the interviewing panel, Jalango was in the mix, the interview panel requested the applicants with a degree to step to the left, note that at this point in time Jalango had no degree, but took the courage and stepped to the left to join those with degrees-confidence my friend.
Interview panel narrowed down to only those who had a degree in media related studies, Jalango again took to the left, he did this with much confidence having in mind that the worst the panel could do to him was to sending him away for not meeting the threshold for the interview, they could not kill him, furthermore he was so muchlured to know whatever goes on in such interviews, this factors gave him the confidence.
Time came to present the papers to the panel, when it was Jalango’s turn to present his papers, he said confidently “Thank you so much, I don’t have any documents but I know that am the person you are looking for” the entire bench went silent, the manager of the Radio Africa group loved his courage, he uttered “I believe he will do god already, as others were walking away, he remained, let’s try him on air”. that is how he got into radio.
Most difficult point is that, the same day he got the appointment letter for the job at Kiss 100 was the same day his father passed on, but all in all his father left him a letter requesting him to take good care of his younger siblings and also build his mom a nice house, and indeed as we speak today he has accomplished all of his dads wishes and that’s why he is in school today pursuing a bachelor’s degree in community development, a valuable factor that he says would help him achieving his dream for vying for the parliamentary seat of Langata constituency in 2022.
Jalas left Kiss 100 for the same reasons he left the Kenya theater and joined Radio Maisha years later, when he joined, Radio Maisha was by then ranked position 48, Jalango made a collabo with one Alex Mwakideu and together they put up the biggest morning radio talk show on which saw the station move from position 48 to position 1 in a span of less than 3 years. Jalas having made a stride left for Hot 96 to co-host the veteran Kenyan journalist Jeff Koinange.
Jalang’o latest News
Jalango quit Hot 96 radio co hosted with Jeff Koinange and is currently at milele fm.He currently has an ambition of becoming an MP in 2022 polls.