Rise of bizarre stunts for the sake of fame

Steve Alvin Muthomi aka Aq9ine

Steve Alvin Muthomi aka Aq9ine. Muthomi’s swollen face after claiming he ate a spider worried those who watched the video he posted.

Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

  • Steve Alvin Muthomi better known as Aq9ine s the same man who ate a bat recently, recorded it and then posted a video of him cooking and eating it. 
  • Muthomi’s swollen face worried those who watched the video he posted yesterday morning.
  • There is also Ian Asunya, aka Nduru Man, who has become famous by recording himself screaming in front of police and recently at the gates of State House

Steve Alvin Muthomi’s swollen face worried those who watched the video he posted yesterday morning.

He looked indisposed. What he said made it more worrying — he had eaten a spider.

“Guys, make your last prayers before I go. Pray for me, I am going. I feel like I don’t have a face,” he said, grimacing in pain.

He might have been acting, or maybe he had eaten a spider as he claimed.

This is the same man who ate a bat recently, recorded it, and then posted a video of him cooking and eating it.

Muthomi, better known as Aq9ine, represents a phenomenon that is blowing up with the growth of social media and micro-blogging.

Because ordinary doesn’t sell, more and more people are seeking ways of being famous by all means necessary.

There is Christopher Mosioma, aka Embarambamba, who walked that path or rather rolled on that path, by dancing in muddy waters while clad in a suit.

There is also Ian Asunya, aka Nduru Man, who has become famous by recording himself screaming in front of police and recently at the gates of State House. Some have been pulling potentially dangerous pranks and the list is endless.

Sunday Nation spoke with Muthomi and Nduru Man for their perspectives. 

Muthomi, who spoke before his latest spider dish, said he is just producing kitchen comedy, trying extraordinary recipes and sharing with his audience.

Nduru Man, on the other hand, is a 23-year-old delivery man in Nairobi whose first screaming video was shot out of frustrations in his job.

He said he is just after achieving his dreams in a clean way.

Muthomi said: “Whatever I do is just comedy. I’m just exploring uncharted waters. At some point, some must say you’re clout-chasing. That’s okay. If you don’t have haters, then there’s something you’re not doing right.”

So, how does a bat taste?

“Like a mix of nyama choma and grilled chicken,” he said, noting that he doesn’t care too much about the health effects the foods he eats may cause.

“It’s all in the mentality. If you frame your mind that something is not edible, then it is likely to affect your health,” he explained.

Muthomi, who hails from Meru, is a full-time plumber and moonlights as a content creator — something he started when he was in Form Two, six years ago.

In the beginning, he was just fascinated about being a YouTuber. 

He began with comedy but it did not quite grow. Then he thought about exploring his hobby, cooking.

“But it wasn’t normal cooking. More of it is kitchen comedy; trying out extraordinary recipes,” he said.

The comedy element is a prominent feature in his videos with the words he uses and the frames he shoots.

With his unique stunts, he noticed an upward growth in his audience.

To try out some recipes, he said, he has to plan for them.

And it takes several months to execute “because it involves getting the recipes before we embark on shooting”.

Others, however, are always not planned. He recently fried a bat. He said that was not planned; it just happened.

The next recipe he is trying out will be extraordinary, he said. He has eaten anything edible, Muthomi says.

And would not mind eating anything. Some of the dishes he has tried out are moles, squirrels and grass.

As for the grass, he said: “The more you boil it, the tougher it gets. Were it that I’m clout-chasing, I would have always been online to monitor what people say once I’ve posted. For example, after I posted the bat meal video, I went offline and went about my main hustle,” he noted.

For his crazy recipes, he has garnered many followers. Some criticise him while others encourage him to keep pushing the limits to unimaginable scales.

His mum, he said, was first against his antics.

“She tried counselling me to try recipes that are universally accepted. She is, however, at peace now with all the contents that I produce. Together with my grandmother, they are now my number one fans,” he said, adding that they have both joined TikTok to watch and share his videos.

As for Nduru Man, he has had a passion for acting. When he sat the KCSE exam at Pumwani High School in Nairobi in 2016, the C-plain he got was a big achievement.

Ian Asunya, aka Nduru Man.

Ian Asunya, aka Nduru Man, has become famous by recording himself screaming in front of police and recently at the gates of State House.

Photo credit: Pool

“I was not a brilliant student,” he said. “All through, I wanted to go to the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication.”

At various points between then and now, he has worked as a waiter, guard, an aircraft cleaner and has been a diploma student at Kenyatta University but dropped out when Covid-19 struck.

Until October 2021, he was working as a delivery man for someone. But the meagre pay made him quit.

He has been doing deliveries on his own since then, often hitching hikes on motorcycles to take him to one point or another.

“I’ve gone up to Syokimau with a motorbike lift, even Kitengela,” he said.

“So, this streaming thing, I just began it this year after I bought a new phone.”

His first scream was a reaction to the discovery that the person he was to deliver items to was a Nigerian man.

He said Nigerians are not the easiest to deal with when it comes to paying for deliveries.

“This man was speaking like a Nigerian and it broke my heart because if you take things to them, it’s just problems. So, I screamed and posted it online. And it went viral. People started doing challenges.”

His latest video he recorded while screaming at one of the State House gates is one of his most daring. He says he had delivered some items along that route and he decided to do a recording. His videos often feature him screaming and saying things as he shoots a video on selfie mode, often with uniformed officers in the frame.

“Some people think I’m a police officer because no one has the confidence to record in the presence of police, even at State House. No one can do that stuff. But it’s the courage I have,” he said.

Asked whether he thought he was going overboard, he said his form of content is “safe” but noted that the stunts like eating crazy foods may be excessive.

“Eating strange things may hurt you,” he said. “For me, I’ve seen comments in which people are saying that they should get a place to scream because life has become tough.”

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