Entertainer and MC Phelix Odiwuor, known affably as Jalang’o is without a doubt one of the most celebrated and accomplished comics in the industry
Jalang’o embodies the adages that hard work pays and that fortune favors the bold; and oh, opportunity dances with the prepared
Many a time when youth see him on TV or listen to him on the radio, they think he just woke up one morning and found himself at the top of the game. Well here is the untold story about him.
He was born and raised in Homabay town in a family that fate plunged into penury. Both parents were native farmers who toiled to provide for their children. Three square meals a day was a luxury.
A bright but needy student, Jalang’o struggled his way through education, even earning a spot at the prestigious Maseno school, a chance he lost when he could not gather fees in time. Consequently, he made do with a community school
After his 0-levels, he became a fisherman in Homabay. Until one morning, his father gave him his two shirts, two pairs of trousers, and Sh800 and told him to go be a man
Jalang’o came to Nairobi where he put up with a relative who virtually turned him into a house boy.
Jalang’o one day thought to himself “look, this is not what I wanted” he left Lavington to go and stay with his uncle, Ochieng’ who resided in Quarry, Embakasi right in the slum.
While staying with his uncle, Ochieng’, Jalango ventured into arts which he had loved and had embraced since he was in high school, in high school he was virtually in every co-curricular activity, be it music, drama, or sports.
Meanwhile, Jalango in his strive to help his uncle in putting food on the table, did all manner of manual jobs, from “Mjengo”-construction 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.
His passion for arts endured and after several failed auditions, managed to get a chance to play a character based on the Swahili set book titled “Mwisho Wa Kosa”. It is at the Theatre that he met Papa Shirandula who helped him get cast in the local comedy, Papa Shirandula.
While still on the Papa Shirandula TV program, Nyambane had just left Kiss 100 and the management had to find a perfect replacement for him on the morning show with Caroline Mutoko. The applications came in their thousands.
The time came for the shortlisted applicants to face the interviewing panel, Jalango was in the mix, the panel requested the applicants with a degree to step to the left, remember at this point in time Jalango had no degree, but took the courage and stepped to the left to join those with degrees- if confidence was a person
The 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 send him away for not meeting the threshold
It was time 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 of the papers but I think am the person you are looking for” the entire bench went silent, the manager of the Radio Africa group loved his courage, he said, “I think I like this guy, as others were walking away, he remained, let’s try him on-air”. And that is how he got into radio.
Sadly, the same day he got the appointment letter for the job at Kiss 100 was the same day his father passed on, it was so sad, 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 dad’s wishes and has since earned his degree.
He is vying for the parliamentary seat of the Langata constituency in 2022.
Jalang’o left Kiss 100 and joined Radio Maisha years later, when he joined, Radio Maisha was by then ranked position 48, Jalango made a collaboration 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 3years. Jalang’o having made a stride left for Hot 96 to co-host the veteran Kenyan journalist Jeff Koinange.
He and Alex then went to Milele and he is back hosting the Kiss 100 Breakfast show alongside Kamene Goro.
Aside from building a house in Kitengela, he is building a state-of-the-art house in his village and the near-complete house has a jaw-dropping interior design. Check it out in the video below