This November at The Afro- Millennial Journal, our theme is ‘The Grind.’
As such we will feature people excelling in various non conventional jobs as we learn how we can chart our our own path. Today we feature Jimmy ‘Church boy’ Kibunja.
Church boy is an MC/Hypeman/Host for your weddings, cocktails, corporate events and any other function that requires a funny and lively feel. We sat down with Church boy for a talk on what his job means to him.
- Why ‘ Church boy’ ?
Why Chachboy, (laughs) . Its not some deep explanation. Well I heard it in a song, Okay two songs. There is a Mary Mary song that talks about how church people are not cool or are party poopers and another by Canton Jones *starts singing*. Both stories related to my life because I grew up in church, loved church activities but never really introduced myself as a born again believer. Just James Kibunja. But when I heard the Canton Jones song. It hit home.
2. Is there a hypeman/Host /MC industry?
I wouldn’t call it an industry on its own, rather its part of the industry. We rely on event organizers, Deejays,and artists. For example, when I MC for artists, the artist will tell me that by the time he comes on stage, he wants the crowd at a certain hype level or excitement. So we work out a plan, and do it. Its a symbiotic relationship. So its a core part of the industry that is growing as the events industry grows. You can’t do much alone if the others do not play their part.
3. What Qualities must one possess in order to do this?
One thing I consider key for an MC, is time management. Because whatever event you are running, you have a program. So at a personal level, time management is key. It also helps with crowd psychology. As people walk in, or how they talk, or how they relate, even how they sit is very important. Third, you must enjoy what you are doing. Most audiences feed off of the energy of the MC. Most times I make a joke i can relate to. Self- depreciating jokes help. For example instead of the audience I pick on my self. So crowd psychology, enjoy yourself and most important master your time management.
4. Is it inherent talent or can you learn?
I strongly believe you can learn. I wasn’t the loudest kid in lower primary unless the occasion demanded that. I am also not the kind of person who will seek out the company of people. So its something you can learn *sneers* most of the time. You can’t grow up and suddenly at 6 years old you are hyping and hosting events. You don’t just grow into it. Its not inherent
5. So… The LLB . …Is it true?
*Laughs loudly* I get that question…A LOT. The LLB is true. I HAVE A LAW DEGREE. I finished the course in 2014 from Kenyatta University Parklands. I’m awaiting my diploma from the Kenya School of Law and admission to the bar. So when I become an advocate I’ll change my name to ‘THE ONLY MC WITH AN ADV….’ *chuckles*. For Advocate…or advance ….or adventure. But the LL.B is true . Its authentic, its for real.
Interview by theamjournal