Arap Marindich: The Kenyan ‘rally driver’ behind the global viral meme

Arap Marindich: The Kenyan ‘rally driver’ behind the global viral meme

Comedian Arap Marindich who has gone viral for his video where he mimicked a rally driver.

  • 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’.

“Arap Marindich mwenyewe,” is the first statement he said right after receiving the call. I could tell he had by now received incessant phone calls and had become accustomed to receiving them with a vibrant identification.

Marindich is a man in demand both in Kenya and globally after his 1-minute video where he acted like a disappointed rally driver went viral and is now keeping netizens laughing and busy coming up with hilarious jokes.

His ambiance suggests he is in a public nexus - there are loud honks from matatus and incomprehensible loud murmurs. “Ngoja kidogo tu,” Marindich suggests as he navigates to a less noisy place.

He sits on a boda boda and says “sasa nimeweka breki,” (which translates to now I can talk).

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.

“Kaptula realised that I am a funny man and advised me to start shooting funny clips and post them online. We did a few together with him I even lost count how many they were,” he narrates.

The taxi job did not last long as he was later forced to go back home. 

But not sooner had he stayed there for a week than he was called for another job at Rongai Police Post as a driver. His was to drive the OCS and other officials to various places.

And so it happened that he met his former boss-cum-friend-cum-manager Kaptula during the WRC weekend and they agreed to head to the rally.

While at the event they came across a car that had broken down and asked the driver if he could let them do a small skit inside the car as he awaited his mechanical team to tow the car.

“The driver allowed us to shoot inside his car and we drove for a few minutes but could not go far. Cars kept on passing by our car leaving behind clouds of dust and that is why I had the dust all over my face (in the video),” he says laughing.

He added that he is glad the video went viral and “it will now open more doors to expand my comedy career.”

“I want to tell my fans that they should expect more jokes and more projects.”

Marindich, on his final remarks, says that Kenyans should keep the peace in the upcoming General Election and “should remember no vote is worth someone’s life.”

— African Hub (@AfricanHub_) August 4, 2022

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