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RIP: All about Tiktok comedian Chongin famed for playing dead in viral skits

A popular TikTok comedian and musician, Nicholas Kiplangat Rotich, widely recognised as Chongin, famed for his recurring portrayal of deceased characters tragically passed away in a road accident on March 18.

Three years ago, in a song called “Jerusalemu”, the father-of-two played the part of a dead man who came back to life as the coffin was being transported, sending the shocked pallbearers scampering for cover.

In an earlier interview, the late singer revealed that he was born in Transmara in 1982, explaining that the name Chongin was a short version of Chonginiot, given to him by his grandmother at birth.

“In the video, I wanted to show the Biblical death and rise of Jesus as provided for in the Bible. Not many people want to act that part, especially the rise and death, but I do not see anything wrong with it,” Chongin said.

Unfortunately, he lost his life in the accident that occurred when a matatu collided with a tractor in the Salaek area of Bomet County on Monday, claiming the lives of five people, including Chongin.

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Nicholas Kiplangat Rotich alias Chongin
Nicholas Kiplangat Rotich alias Chongin, the musician-comedian who died in a road accident in Bomet on March 18, 2024, in this photo shared by the family. He will be buried in Transmara, Narok County. PHOTO| FAMILY

At present, thirteen survivors remain under medical care at Tenwek Hospital, with five others having been discharged.

The bodies of the deceased are currently held at the mortuary of Longisa County Referral Hospital, awaiting post-mortem examinations and subsequent release for burial arrangements by their respective families.

Chongin’s family said the comedian’s body will be laid to rest at Kapsasian village in Transmara, Emurrua Dikirr constituency in Narok County, on a date to be announced later.

In a latest TikTok video, he acted on top of a tree, as a man who wanted to take his own life using a rope due to the high cost of living in the country.

In another video, Chongin is seen “condoling” a heifer whose mother had died shortly after birth.
“It is like he had a premonition of his own death as he repeatedly acted on issues relating to the dead. It is an unfortunate twist of events that Chongin has died in an accident after all the drama,” Ms Irine Masit, a resident of Bomet and fan of the deceased said.

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♬ original sound – Chongin

He attended Kapsasian Primary School in Transmara before moving to Motiret Primary School in the neighbouring Bomet County to join class five. He later dropped out of primary school and relocated to Kiptures in Chemaner ward, Bomet East constituency.

Chongin’s musical career started around the year 2019, when he was inducted into it by secular artist Ann Chebaibai with whom he recorded several songs with the first recording Omuiten being a hit.

It was in the Litein trading centre in Bureti, Kericho county where he was attracted to comedy and became a video vixen for most artists among them the popular gospel musician Joyce Langat.

“I am forever grateful to Layon Media in Litein for shooting my videos and exposing me to the world. I would not be where I am today without them,” he told Moryn Cheptoo, a content developer in a previous interview.

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Mr Peter Kirui, a family spokesman confirmed that the musician-comedian had indeed passed away and that they had positively identified the body at the mortuary where it was taken to by the police for preservation after the accident.

“It is unfortunate that we have lost our brother while on his way to Bomet from Kuresoi South in Nakuru County. Though he was currently residing in Segemenian in Narok county, he will be buried in Kapsasian in Transmara (Narok county),” Mr Kirui said.

Nicholas Kiplangat Rotich alias Chongin
Nicholas Kiplangat Rotich alias Chongin. PHOTO| POOL

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He added due to the humble background of the family, fundraising to offset the funeral expenses will be held at a date to be announced in a few days.

Mr David Rotich alias Makiche, the chairman of the Kalenjin Musicians Association (KAMUA) said “Death has robbed us of one of our own who brought life and laughter to homes and individuals in different ways”.

“We are appealing for help from leaders, the business community, members of the public and his fans to raise funds towards Chongin’s final send-off,” Mr Rotich said.

The police are expected to conduct a post-mortem on the five bodies including that of Chongin, that are lying at Longisa Hospital mortuary before releasing them to the next of kin for burial.

“Three of the victims are female while two are male, but they have not been identified so far as they did not have identification documents with them at the time the incident occurred,” said Musa Imamai, the Bomet East police boss.

The matatu with 14 passengers collided head-on with a tractor at Salaek – Kimugul area in the Mugango area along the Kiptagich-Silibwet road in Singorwet civic ward, Bomet central constituency, on Monday at 4:00 pm according to the police.

Nicholas Kiplangat Rotich alias Chongin. PHOTO| POOL

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Mr Japeth Bii, the nurse in charge of the accident and emergency section at Tenwek Hospital confirmed that five of the survivors had been discharged.

Survivors said the matatu had earlier developed mechanical issues and was repaired at Kiptagich before in Kuresoi before it was driven to Bomet County.

“The driver of the matatu told us that the vehicle had developed a mechanical problem and we had to wait for it to be repaired at Kiptagich trading centre before we proceeded with the journey. Majority of the passengers had boarded the vehicle at Keringet and were destined for Bomet town,” Mr Bernard Koech, a passenger who sustained chest and neck injuries said.

Mr Koech who spoke from his hospital bed said the car overtook another matatu before the driver lost control and rammed into a matatu in a steep part of the road.