In a recent interview with Massawe Japanni on Radio Jambo, Eric Omondi defended Churchill against allegations of fleecing comedians, mismanagement and mistreatment that put their mental health at risk.
Displeased and referring to the allegations as ‘nonsense of the highest order’ Eric clarified that Churchill provided a platform for comedians to gain exposure -a house to sell their craft- and thereafter, whatever they did with the opportunity was up to them.
“I’m saying this from experience; I have the moral authority, more than Churchill, to talk about this topic. It bothers me, and I think it’s just nonsense of the highest order… All Churchill gives you is a platform…
“Churchill has never ever called someone to come for auditions. All of us went there and were offered an opportunity to showcase our talents. That is because he has a show – Churchill Show, that is his house, and you are allowed to sell your talent,” Omondi told Massawe Japanni.
He further stated that Churchill never paid him a coin. Eric asserted that he was indebted to Churchill, crediting his success to him.
“I could not be known if he did not give me the platform to sell my name. He sold my name and it is very unfair when I see comedians saying they are being used by Churchill. You are not being used, they are using Churchill,” he asserted.
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Following the death of Anthony Njenga on November 7, 2019- stage name Njenga Mswahili- Eric revealed that Njenga had been silently battling depression for 3 years, leading up to his death.
“Njenga was crying out for help during his darkest times, but everyone, including me, was simply too busy with our own lives to lend a helping hand. It’s like we have lost our humanity,” Omondi expressed.
Prior to Njenga’s death came the passing of Emmanuel Makori Nyambane alias Ayeiya in 2017 and DJ Nakumatt popularly referred to as Man Kwenjo in 2018 and subsequently, a string of equally devastating losses in Churchill’s comical troupe.
A Churchill comedian, Zainabu Zeddy, later leveled serious allegations on the depression-inducing environment on the Churchill show.
In a long post shared on her Instagram account, she accused Victor Ber, the show’s Creative Director of frustrating comedians to the point of pushing them to give up on their dreams.
Zeddy described Ber as ‘depression maker’ thanks to his tough words during auditions.
In a show on July 8, Zeddy had disclosed that comedians were paid only if their art appeared on TV. She indicated that some of the comedians performed for months but their shows never aired, hence, throwing them in a pool of depression.
“The audience during the live recording usually get to see up to 15 performances and wonder why only a few are aired,” the comedian asked.
Responding to the allegations during comedian Othuol’s burial, Churchill said he started the show to realise opportunities among the youth and not to oppress them.