TikTok emcee Gogo living the dream

Franklin Mark Gogo alias MC Gogo.

Franklin Mark Gogo alias MC Gogo.

Photo credit: Pool

Those born in the 1990s and later come from an era when hype men had their peak.

They were the party and constant figures next to the deejay at the booth. To date, they are still a vital part of the urban music performance recording world.

Back in the day, hype men were part of an artiste entourage to the stage.

There would be three or four of them and at least one would hop on an additional mic, adding ad-libs and interjections throughout the performance just to get the crowd excited.

Today, hype men are taking to the stage first to work up the crowd before ushering in the main artist. 
Deejays too have borrowed the concept of incorporating it into their mixes while performing, be it in clubs or concerts.

But any reveller would gladly tell you, Kenyan DJs have been terrible and boring while at it.
Enter 25-year-old Franklin Mark Gogo alias MC Gogo.

He somehow stumbled on an idea revolutionising the whole aspect of performance hyping, taking it to a whole new level and with it the masses, best explained by his ever-growing numbers on TikTok and Instagram and viral challenges of his mastery. 

The gig has now become a source of livelihood for the Counselling and Sociology undergraduate student at Kenyatta University.

MC Gogo, who charges between Sh30,000 and Sh100,000 for his services, has found a colourful technique to his craft.

He works with a DJ to create the all-good feel vibe and gets the crowd excited, often tickled whenever he is invited to host a gig.

Here, he captivates the crowd with just words and coined phrases.  “I never script anything. I always ask the DJ to let me have a look at the play list then I get in the moment and as the set is on, I find myself throwing words in between that are very much relatable to every one of us,” MC Gogo tells Sunday Nation

The Dandora-born voice-over artist doesn’t look anything like the viral TikToker he is, known for his deep voice and wittiness whenever adding ad-libs and interjections to a DJ’s set or mix.

"My emcee journey came out as a joke. In December 2018, there was an event at our church and there was an emcee who was to host but two days before the event, he fell ill and being the talkative fella I am, I decided to be the stand-in emcee. I never expected the congregation to get captivated by my hype; they kept cracking up, and that’s how I fell in love with the microphone,” he says. 

Humour-truth package

Indeed, if there is one thing MC Gogo is skilled at, is packaging humour garnished with a little bit of hard truth that’s so relatable. 

For instance, in one of his recent viral clips currently generating a challenge on TikTok, MC Gogo makes a mockery of Kenyans and how they fall in love.
 “Ati unapatia mtu moyo kumbe kitu anataka ni matako. Wacha ujinga” (You think you have given someone your heart yet all he is after is your butt, stop being silly),” he mocks amid a DJ set playing a popular bongo flava love song ‘I Wish’ by Kuzah.

Or the one he mocks how girlfriends cheat on their men.

“Unaona ule jamaa manzi yako hukuambia ni bestie tu, huyu ni bro tu, aki babe ni bro, wakipatana ta, ta, ta (You see the guy your girlfriend always tells you he is just a friend or a brother, but whenever they meet its ta, ta,ta). MC Gogo hypes to the hit song ‘Ta, Ta, Ta’ by Bayani. 

With the successful hosting of the church event, MC Gogo started looking for more community gigs.
“I decided this was something I could do, and so I began looking for these community-based organisation events and did them for free. Some I was paid Sh100 you know, facilitation to get me back home. I appreciate them because these events built me; they gave me exposure and if people think exposure doesn’t pay, let them look at me,” he says. 

It was at these events that he met DJ Daffy and DJ Muge and together they formed a bond and decided to team up and entertain at events.

When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, grinding everything to a halt, the trio decided to open a YouTube channel where they would upload mixes and unlike the accustomed Kenyan DJ mixes, DJ Daffy and DJ Muge never hyped leaving that to MC Gogo.

They would then share teasers of their mixes on their social media except for TikTok. “I had vowed never to join TikTok. I felt it was an app built for women. Then one day someone sent me a teaser of a mix we had done and told me he picked it from TikTok. Someone must have plucked it from my Instagram and shared it on TikTok. So I decided to join and see how it goes.”

MC Gogo would then share snippets of his mixes on the app, and to his surprise, he started gaining followers at an alarming rate, with the numbers currently slightly over 288,000. “What TikTok has done is amazing, because it has helped build my numbers on YouTube where I currently have over 22,000 subscribers. From the snippets that I share on TikTok, people are drawn to the YouTube channel where the video is longer.”

Nightclub gigs

With his content now viral, nightclubs have been approaching him for gigs and the teetotaller is currently the resident MC at Hornbill Club in Rongai. His bookings are always open.

“I just don’t do clubs, I also do weddings and concerts so I charge based on the nature of the event and where it’s going to happen.”

Despite his exposure to nightlife, MC Gogo says he is a committed Christian and would never miss church. 
“I could be having a show on Saturday even when it’s outside Nairobi and on Sunday I am in church. I also never miss classes. I remember the day my DJ friends found me studying inside a club and laughed so hard. I was going through my PDF notes because I had an exam the following day.”

Besides schooling challenges, MC Gogo says he has had to adapt to the women craze brought about by his newly found fame.

“Ladies are interesting human beings. There is an obsession with me that I have experienced that I can’t just explain. It baffles me sometimes but I have learnt how to manage through it, understanding that these are fans who enjoy my craft.”


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