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Five ‘ordinary’ Kenyans who became famous overnight

It is usually said that the internet can either make you or break you. With the increase of use of technology more Kenyans are finding ways to make a livelihood using social media. Hence, the increase in the so-called influencers.

But apart from the influencers, the internet seems to also be churning out a group of individuals who by just going about their business have become famous overnight.

The latest example is the whistling TikToker Priscilla wa Imani who has quite practically whistled herself to celebrity status.

Below are five other ordinary Kenyans who became popular in a blink of an eye, all thanks to the internet.

Githeri man – During the 2017 General Election one man stood out. But Martin Kamotho was not contesting any political seat, rather he was just an ordinary voter who was pictured munching githeri from a polythene bag while waiting on the queue to cast his vote. The media promptly christened him Githeri man as the erstwhile unknown voter waltzed his way to fame.

Before and after fame: Martin Kamotho, popularly known as Githeri man. PHOTOS | FRANCIS NDERITU & NATION MEDIA GROUP

He ended up being Kenya’s biggest celebrity during that electioneering period. Fame and good fortune soon followed. Unsolicited goodies started coming his way from corporates that practically fell over themselves just to get a piece of the man.

There was also a surprise invitation to former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s inauguration ceremony at Kasarani Stadium on November 28, 2017. A Head of State Commendation capped off Githeri man’s the rollercoaster ride.

Jane Anyango Andika – Her passionate plea to the government to help her and other victims of floods in 2012 became an hilarious meme that has been used by Kenyans on social media. Her famous phrase ‘serikali saidia’ led to her being nicknamed Mama Serikali. Her misfortunes also quickly changed as she was offered a contract by Safaricom for a commercial.

Ivy Chelimo – A content creator, she goes by the moniker, Shawty for nicknames on Twitter. She was the first person to tweet the name Riggy G on July 19, 2022, at 9:11pm.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua chats with Ms Ivy Chelimo, the young woman who coined his now popular nickname Riggy G. PHOTO | DPPS

Deputy president Rigathi Gachaua later said that he had tasked his sons with finding the young lady and bringing her to dinner. The DP also promised her a job at his office.

Priscilla wa Imani – This is the sensation who has been showing up in odd places and without warning, lets out a loud whistle followed by a shout “Priscilla wa Imani ndani ya…”

She has done it in supermarkets, petrol stations, markets … and she says she might do it in a church, mosque, mortuary …”it’s only in a hospital where I cannot do it unless it is demanded as some sort of therapy”.

Wa Imani, whose real name is Priscilla Gakuru, says whistling is in her soul and comes out effortlessly.

Tik Tok whistling sensation Priscilla wa Imani. PHOTOS | COURTESY

“Many would argue that it can only be done under the influence of some substance … My whistling is from sober lungs … sober soul,” she says.

One of her most recent whistling stunt was to jokingly ask for bus fare from radio presenter Maina Kageni and the latter gladly obliged with a bailout for the content creator.

She has gone as far as giving a shout to Nairobi governor Johnson Sakaja, who responded by inviting her to City Hall

“Sh100 wedding couple” – We all remember this couple who went viral in 2017 for having spent Sh100 only for their wedding. Wilson Wanjohi and Ann Muhonja had to cancel their wedding twice having failed to raise Sh30,000 for the wedding they wanted. Eventually, Kenyans online came through for them by raising Sh3.5 million for the couple to have their dream wedding.

Wilson Wanjohi and Ann Muhonja. Right: The couple exchange wedding vows once again in a lavish 3.5 million shilling wedding at Eden Bliss Gardens along the Northern Bypass in Nairobi on February 14, 2017 after their previous wedding went viral on the internet for costing 100 shillings. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP