Kennedy Kipkorir Lang’at popularly known as Arap Marindich is a Kenyan comedian who went viral globally after a video of him acting as a disappointed rally driver surfaced online.
Marindich and Chemoget’s photos had been reproduced and packaged into memes and widely shared globally, including in countries such as Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Italy, Spain and parts of Europe. They went viral after explaining how rally drivers manoeuvred rough terrain during the World Rally Championship in Naivasha.
In the video from which the now viral memes have been generated, Marindich – with a dusty face – was seen impersonating a rally driver, explaining how extreme and tense the rally was. He was accompanied by his ‘navigator’ whom he identified as Kaptula but refers to as just ‘Tula’.
Speaking in their Kalenjin dialect, the duo explained how the terrain was challenging and ended up in a bush while trying to navigate the map, which they say was complex to understand.
“The race was fun but unfortunately we found ourselves in the bush, look at these branches which stuck inside our car, we even almost rolled over. All we could see was white drivers passing us by in the bush,” said Marindich in part of the video clip.
Screenshots from the viral video have since been used in memes and it is arguably the only Kenyan meme that has gone global.
In an exclusive interview with Citizen Digital, Marindich tells of the video and more about ‘the man behind the viral meme’.
He starts by saying his real name is Kennedy Kipkorir Lang’at but chooses to use Marindich in honor of his late grandfather.
He divulges it is customary in the Kalenjin community to inherit the name of a grandfather upon their death.
“Lakini tusitumie Kennedy, mimi ni Marindich mwenyewe, hiyo ndio natumia, (But let’ s not use Kennedy, I prefer Marindich),” he insists.
The 33-year-old, who now resides in Ongata Rongai, grew up in Tigor, Bomet County where he undertook his primary level studies and later enrolled in Kaplong High School where he studied till Form Two and was forced to drop out due to financial constraints.
With the help of his father, he then enrolled in a driving school in 2008, optimistic that it would bear fruit.
After completing the course, he was employed by a man in his local area who had a car and needed a driver.
“Those days there were no shuttles and many PSVs so it was a private car. I ferried people from Bomet to other places,” he says, adding that he got married in the same year.
As luck was apparent to be trailing him, the father of one got a job offer in Nairobi and that is when he met Kaptula who hired him as taxi driver.
“Kaptula had a taxi and told me that I should be giving him Ksh.2,300 a day,” he adds.
Marindich went on to say that Kaptula, who then became his manager, noticed that he has a funny character and if put to proper use it might yield great results.
Following the increased use of their memes, KECOBO says corporate entities using the memes should seek the consent of the comedians failure to which they will be liable for contravening the Copyright law.
Marindich was raised in Tigor, Bomet County. He attended primary school in the area and later proceeded to Kaplong Boys High School. Unfortunately, he dropped out of school at Form Two due to the lack of school fees. His father helped him enroll into driving school in 2008 with the hope that he could make a career out of it.
Here are some of Arap Marindich Memes
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