Laughter is comic’s own medicine even as he serves others
Allan Ouma Otieno aka MC Japolo loves to laugh, even as he makes others laugh. As his mother Millicent Caroline Otieno shares his funny side is what has kept her entertainer and entrepreneur son going.
Allan Ouma Otieno popularly known as MC Japolo is one of the official emcees for the Luo Festival and Mr and Miss Mbita annual events.
As his mother, Millicent Caroline Atieno shares, it was so obvious from a very young age that her son was born for the stage.
“He was a kind and gentle child. He loved to laugh and loved hearty stories. His talent came to light when he was in nursery school; he would recite poems to the awe of the audience.
There was a time he represented his school up to the regional level with his recitals. Smilarly, other than speaking, my son also loved music.
I just keep encouraging his funny side because he has grown with it, is doing what makes him happy while making others happy as well,” says the mother of six.
The 27-year-old comedian is the fourth born in a family of six and grew up in Masiro Kathieno, Ugenya, Siaya county, raised by their single mother, who was also his primary school teacher at Murumba Primary School.
He later joined St Mary’s Yala Secondary School in 2011 for his secondary school education. Due to financial restraints, her mother had to transfer him to St Charles Lwanga, Mombasa in 2013.
Joining college, he perfected his craft and at some point had to drop out to do informal jobs to raise school fees, maximising on minor gigs to make ends meet.
He has acquired knowledge in plant operations and clearing and forwarding at Kenya Ports Authority.
Atieno shares how MC Japolo is not just popular for comedy — back in the village he was famous for winning a lot of awards not just for himself, but also for the family and putting his community in the country’s academic charts.
“After sitting his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in 2011, he emerged the first Student in Bar Ndege Zone, and the entire Siaya county as well.
This made us all happy and we were proud of him. That was one of his best moments in life.
Well, he has had a lot more including when he was in St Mary Yala Secondary School where he went up to the national levels in Kenya Music Festival.
He won many awards and was awarded certificates; it has been an amazing streak of awards.
He was also a church youth leader under 10, for two years when he was eight years old and that was quite an achievement,” says Atieno in praise.
Aside from being a comedian and serving people their healthy doses, laughter is his medicine as well and the only way his mother gets to him when she feels his energy drop or when going through difficult moments.
“Whenever he is home and I realise that he is sad or just not himself, aside from praying and having dinner with him, we chat and reflect our lives.
I cheer him up by sharing some old memories. He is one person who just can’t stay angry for long,” Atieno intimates.
Knowing how best to reach for him has gone a long way in cementing the mother-son bond over the years.
He knows he can always talk to his mum about the things that involve critical decision-making.
This means a lot to the mum as she is able to stay updated in his life journey.
As an adolescent, there is not much he hid from his mother—from the crushes he had to the the company he kept — and this gave her an opportunity to guide him into the right steps.
Aside from that, Atieno shares that Japolo is an amazing father to his two-year-old daughter.
As much as they are not together with his baby mama, co-parenting has not been a challenge as such.
Great father, businessman
“I might not say much about his current relationship as I am yet to meet the person he is dating, but he has told me a lot about her.
So, I know there is someone in the picture. At the same time he is the best father to his daughter — that I am proud of.
When the child was born, he brought both the mother and the child home, so I could meet them.
Though they are not together with the mother of his child, my grandchild celebrated both the first and second birthdays here at my home as a family.
My son is generally an active and responsible father,” reveals Atieno.
When he is not being an entertainer, Mc Japolo works as a brand ambassador for a construction company (Kenlan), a motor vehicle selling company (Ken Owino Motors Ltd Mombasa).
He also has his own company, Japolo Holiday Homes Ltd and so far, the company has homes in Nairobi, Syokimau and Mtwapa.
Japolo Holiday homes came into existence after the entertainment sector was badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and he needed to find an alternative source of income to make ends meet.
The business idea has been a gateway to his business empire, including maize farming in Ugenya, and a beauty products shop.
As a mother, she is assured that her son’s kindness, gentleness and pursuit of his heart’s desires will one day make him one of the greatest emcees in the country.
And she knows that he will be an inspiration even more to the younger generation who are looking up to him.