Meet Arap Uria Who Left Teaching To Become An Online Soccer Commentator
Meshack Kiprop Biwott, popularly known as Arap Uria, has become a rising star in the world of social media, thanks to his unique content. The 26-year-old Kenyan comedian has gained recognition for his videos, in which he impersonates English football commentator Peter Drury and local politicians.
Recently, a video went viral in which the real Peter Drury acknowledged Uria’s talent and expressed his desire to meet him in person. This came as a pleasant surprise to Uria, who never expected his art to be recognized by Drury.
“I was so surprised; I almost couldn’t believe it. I knew that one day he would come across my videos, but I never imagined that he would appreciate my efforts. I received the video from Gerard, one of the producers from the Premier League, who had invited me for a Zoom interview at Supersport Football,” Uria reveals.
Uria’s journey has not been easy. As the eldest child in a family of eight, his initial dream was to become a journalist. However, due to parental pressure, he ended up pursuing a Bachelor of Education at Masinde Muliro University. Impersonating Drury is no simple task for Uria, as he spends entire nights rehearsing the lip-syncing before shooting the next day.
“Lip-syncing has been challenging because I have to memorize the lines overnight before filming. It’s a two-person team, consisting of myself and my producer. I also make sure to closely follow soccer matches, especially Drury’s commentaries, to enhance my mastery of this art,” Uria explains.
Over the years, Peter Drury has won the hearts of many football fans in Kenya with his captivating and eloquent commentary. Fans often wonder if his lines are scripted for live TV. However, in a 2020 interview with K24 TV, Drury stated that his words come from instinct.
“Once a game starts, you can’t predict what will happen. You have to react to the events as they unfold. You must go with the flow and trust your instincts. Trying to script a moment is dangerous because it may not align with the actual events, and you may end up looking foolish,” Drury said.
Uria initially began his comedy career by impersonating political leaders. However, he noticed that this often led to personal attacks and endless backlash from fans with different political affiliations. As a creative artist, he had to find a neutral ground, and that’s when he turned to football and found fulfilment in impersonating Drury.
“I realized that impersonating political leaders was not a neutral ground for my audience due to their political differences. I had to find common ground, and I found it in football and impersonating Drury, my favourite football commentator. Football is a sport that brings people together regardless of age, gender, race, or social class, so I saw it as something that would impress my fans,” Uria explains. He also reveals that he discovered his comedic talent after completing his university studies in 2019, but he has been an entertainer since his early days in Sunday School.
On set, Uria is known for his distinctive attire, including an antique and baggy coat, white beard, a cowboy hat, and cups on his ears to resemble headphones. He often holds a sieve or metallic heater as a makeshift microphone. This unique style was inspired by his late grandfather, from whom he inherited most of the clothing. Uria adds that these outfits are just a way to add spice to his comedy.
According to Uria, social media has been a game-changer for content creators who were previously unemployed, including himself. As the eldest child and a father, he had to find a way to support his family, and his previous odd jobs were not sufficient. Through content creation, he has been able to monetize his work through advertising and brand endorsements. He also serves as an emcee at weddings and pre-wedding events.
As a devoted fan of the English football club Chelsea, Uria’s ultimate wish is to visit the UK, watch the English Premier League live in stadiums, and meet Peter Drury. He firmly believes that with hard work and determination, anything is possible. Uria concludes by offering advice to aspiring creatives, encouraging them to be unique, creative, and dedicated while trusting in their abilities and never giving up.