Nominated Best Newcomer at the Black Comedy Awards 2012, Njambi McGrath is the Kenyan born comedian and author shaking up the stand-up scene. Since her debut in 2010, Njambi has reached the finals in numerous national comedy competitions as well as writing and performing four Edinburgh Festival shows to critical acclaim. Unafraid of hard-hitting topics such as the hidden horrors of colonial rule or her experiences of racism in the US and UK, expect cutting edge comedy with bite as well as charm.
Shortlisted for the BBC Radio New Comedy Awards and Voted one of the 5 top female comedians to watch by Fabulous Magazine 2012, Njambi’s authentic insights have brought her guest slots on shows like Saturday Live on BBC Radio 4 and an appearance on BBC World New Years Comedy. Impassioned and political, Njambi is the fresh, fearless voice on the live circuit not to be missed!
Watch Njambi McGrath: Breaking Black
One of the hottest African born comedians making waves, Njambi Mcgrath is a cutting edge voice on the comedy circuit. With acerbic anecdotes about life in Kenya, living in a white neighbourhood, and the global impact of the British Empire, this compelling comic delves into her experiences as a black woman in post-Brexit Britain. A satisfyingly layered show with unforgettable one liners that pack a real punch, Njambi is not just breaking the comedy mould – she’s smashing it.
See Njambi McGrath Live
Information on Njambi McGrath’s upcoming gigs and live shows can be found here.
Growing up in rural Kenya, Njambi chose to take a degree in Computing despite dreaming of what her teachers told her was an unachievable career in stand-up. Working as a software programmer, it was an employer creating difficulties for her to return to work after having a baby that was the catalyst for quitting her job in search of something more fulfilling. As luck would have it, a friend quickly introduced her to a new career opportunity in midwifery and after training for 2 and a half years she embarked on a new role teaching birth preparation classes.
It was during these classes that she was “bitten by the performance bug”, telling jokes to relax her clients and with expectant parents telling her “they felt like they’d been to a show rather than a scary childbirth class”.
Finding her voice as a stand up was a steep learning curve. Describing her first London gig as a “disaster”, she credits her Kenyan upbringing for giving her the strength to persevere. She told The Guardian “When you grow up in Africa you see people in much, much more difficult situations than you could ever be in and they just keep going”. She also describes the shock of seeing how Africa was portrayed in the media when she moved to England in 2010. It was this ‘enlightenment’ that encouraged her to use comedy to raise serious issues in the UK, utilising her background to poke fun at stereotypes where others wouldn’t dare. “The portrayal of Africa abroad – I didn’t recognise it at all. I thought I would play around with that because a lot of people don’t realise that there is humour everywhere in Africa. We see comedy everywhere, sometimes because that is the only way to make sense of things”.
Impressively, Njambi has taken a new solo to the Edinburgh Festival every year since 2014 as well hosting her own showcase of the best comedy talent of the fringe, Njambi and Guests. In 2017, The Telegraph and Evening Standard singled her out as contributing of one of the funniest jokes of the fringe – “My father was such a disciplinarian, he would get angry at me and say ‘you are no daughter of mine’. I would say, ‘I know, Mum told me’.”
As well as causing a stir on the live UK circuit, Njambi has been making global waves too, featuring on STV, French TV(Business Africa/Initiative Africa) Bloomberg Africa TV, Nigerian TV and Arise TV. And her talents don’t end there. As a writer Njambi is author of her memoir Through the Leopard’s Gaze and is a regular contributor to HuffPost, Glam Africa and I-news. A keen podcaster too, her entertainment show The Hot African explores the lives of artists and notable personalities of colour.