Olexander Josphat, better known by his stage name Peter Sankale, has been a renowned figure in Kenya for several decades. His notable presence on popular television programs like Vioja Mahakamani, Vitimbi, and Daktari, coupled with his humorous Maasai accent, has made him a household name. However, until recently, little was known about the person behind these comedic characters.
Josphat’s journey into the world of comedy began during his childhood. At a parents’ day celebration, he showcased his acting prowess and was recognized as the best actor in his class. As a reward, he received an exercise book, pencil, and eraser.
Even at a young age, Josphat possessed a natural talent for performing, but it would take many years for him to fully realize his potential.
After completing college, Josphat secured a job as a teller at Panafric Bank. Adorned in a suit and tie each day, he appeared just like any other banker. However, deep down, he knew that his true calling lay elsewhere.
One fateful day, Josphat’s manager, Gitonga, noticed his innate sense of humor and suggested that he explore acting.
“Peter, you’re an incredibly funny individual. Have you ever considered pursuing acting? Do you happen to know anyone involved in Vitimbi or Vioja Mahakamani?” the manager inquired.
As an avid fan of these popular TV comedies, Sankale revealed that he was familiar with some of the actors. Encouraged by his manager, he decided to embrace his talent and audition for roles in Vitimbi and Vioja Mahakamani.
Despite facing disapproval from his family and community, Sankale summoned the courage to leave his banking job and pursue his passion for comedy. It was a challenging decision, yet deep down, he knew it was the right path for him.
“I abandoned banking for comedy, and it didn’t sit well with my family. My mother wasn’t pleased,” he shared in a recent interview. “She told everyone, ‘My son left banking, a profession that required him to wear a suit and tie every day, to engage in these peculiar things on TV that I can’t comprehend. Is making people laugh even a proper job?'”
Nevertheless, Sankale remained undeterred. He dedicated himself to honing his talent and tirelessly improving his skills. He began his journey in Vitimbi, where he introduced his distinctive Maasai accent to the show, eventually securing leading roles in two television programs on KTN Home.
Today, Sankale stands as a successful comedian, earning a substantial income each month through television and radio advertisements, emcee engagements, and prominent roles in TV shows.
Sankale’s success in comedy did not materialize overnight. He advises aspiring comedians entering the industry to exhibit patience and persistence until they achieve their breakthrough. He cautions against succumbing to the allure of instant success, emphasizing the significance of hard work and unwavering dedication.
Additionally, Sankale is a devout Christian, and he encourages others to avoid being consumed by the “celebrity” label as they pursue their passions. According to him, the trappings of celebrity status can lead individuals astray from their true purpose and values.