Joseph Omari, better known by his stage name Mr. Tembo, is a well-known actor who has made a name for himself in the Kenyan entertainment industry. He first gained popularity through his role in the popular TV series Tahidi High, which made him a household name in many Kenyan homes. With almost two decades of experience in the industry, he has played significant roles in several local TV programs.
Born on December 20, 1942, in Kisii, Mr. Tembo spent most of his early life in Nairobi. He attended Nairobi Primary School, which was then known as Government Primary School, before proceeding to high school in Machakos. He loved the arts and was a member of the choir and drama club. Later on, he pursued a course in Mechanical Engineering at the Railway Training Institute.
Mr. Tembo is a proud father, grandfather, and great-grandfather with six great-grandchildren. He met the mother of his children while he was part of a band performing in Uganda. He strongly believes in investing in family, and his children ensure that his needs are well taken care of, with some residing in Norway and Sweden. He attributes his present support from his children to the investment he made in them in the past.
Before venturing into the entertainment industry, Mr. Tembo worked as a postal clerk, following in the footsteps of his father. However, he discovered that his interest lay elsewhere and decided to join a band, which traveled to Uganda for a performance. While in Uganda, he became a trade unionist and was elected treasurer of the Uganda Musicians Union. Later, he pursued a diploma in Trade Unionism at Labor College- Makerere University.
Upon returning to Kenya, he continued working as a trade unionist and was elected president of Kenya Musicians Union for three years. He also ventured into acting by taking on a role in the KBC Broken Hearts series. However, his most significant breakthrough came in 2006 when he joined Tahidi High as the deputy principal before being promoted to principal when the senior lecturer at Kenyatta University left. He played a strict principal who did not tolerate indiscipline, but his deputy, Ms. Morgan, who was younger and more energetic, always challenged him.
Despite his success in the industry, Mr. Tembo believes that the Kenyan acting industry still has a long way to go in terms of investment and better pay for actors. However, he also believes that one can still make a difference with the little they earn. He has also been featured in other TV programs such as Santalai and Sue na Johnnie, where he worked alongside Abel Mutua and Philip Karanja, his former students in Tahidi High.
In summary, Mr. Tembo’s story is one of resilience, dedication, and hard work. He has proven that one can succeed in the entertainment industry with passion, commitment, and a willingness to invest in oneself and their loved ones.