21-year-old Samuel Ndung’u aka Brayo Sammy has looped in his 78-year-old grandmother, Margaret Muthoni to reap the benefits of the growing digital industry through comedy
Harriet James @harriet86jim
There is something magical about the relationship between Samuel Ndung’u aka Brayo Sammy and his grandma, Margaret Muthoni. They share a special bond despite being decades apart. Grandma looks up to Brayo with incredible pride. Brayo on the other hand adores her.
And it is this joyous partnership that has taken the Internet by storm following their hilarious videos. They have not started getting a lot of money like other established YouTubers, but their videos are causing a sensation with three uploads weekly, each video getting up to hundred thousand views.
His videos are based on the difference in lifestyle between the old and new generation and teaching his granny new tricks, how the youth live in the contemporary world. But it is how his grandma, who never went to school, responds to his English lessons, among other difficult tricks that leave everyone in stitches. Her natural response and her struggle to pronounce what her grandson tells her is comical to say the least.
For example, there is one he imitated Betty Kyalo and Willis the word master where he tells his grandmother to pronounce the word “photosynthesis” and “encyclopaedia ” and after too much struggle she said something like fotosigsi
and bekebidia. Then her reaction when she used the lift, and another when she flew for her first time is amazing.
His talent began when Brayo was in Class Seven at St Mark Primary School, Juja in 2013. As the 21-year-old recalls, he loved making jokes and fun with his friends, but didn’t know one day he would do this for a living.
He spent better part of his childhood in Juja, but life changed when his father died while he was in Class Six. His life then revolves around staying with his grandmother in Nakuru and his Mother in Juja. “While in Form One and Two, I stayed in Nairobi with my mum while in Form Three and Four; I lived with my granny in Nakuru,” he says.
While still in high school, Brayo tried his luck and went for auditions at a local comedy show Churchill Show. Sadly, he did not sail through, but this did not make him lose focus.
After high school he came back to live with his mother. Together with his friends, Samuel began working at a mjengo to earn a living. “We would be paid Sh3,000 every week and I would take the money to my mum. Later on, when the job was not consistent, I relocated to live with my granny in Nakuru,” he recalls.
During this period, he would watch comedian Njugush and his wife, Wakavinye’s videos and an idea to do the same with his granny arose. He started recording videos and posting them. At first, his granny thought it was for fun until his hard work began paying off. “We did a random video and people loved it and that’s how I got into the market. I just told Shosh to pronounce difficult English words, then I posted it,” he explains.
Soon his work became popular that one day he received a call from the director of Churchill
Show. “I was told they were impressed by my comedy and wanted me to perform as one of the comedians in their upcoming show in Nakuru. It was a dream come true as I had auditioned once and failed, but this time, I was a stand-up comedian in a show, not an audition,” he recalls.
He talked with his granny about it and despite butterflies in their stomachs; they gave a sterling performance that awed the crowd. Brayo’s reach grew on social media and his channel Brayosammy
has a wide audience, same as his Instagram and YouTube pages. Soon, big brands and corporates came knocking at his doorstep.
“It’s a dream come true to do this. I am just nine months old in the industry and I’m marketing big brands in Kenya. I’m getting corporate deals that have made me own a car,” he says with a smile.
He attributes prayer and humility as the core of his success. He has a management team that ensures the smooth running of his brand. Also, he ensures that part of his money goes into taking care of grannies. This year, Brayo plans to launch a project that supports the elderly. “I give them what they need such as medical cover, food and clothes, not money,” he explains.