Channel 4 Munya Chawawa’s life off-screen from incredible big break to secret girlfriend
Munya Chawawa shot to rapid fame with his timely parody sketches on social media and is now on the big screen presenting for Channel 4 – tonight as one of the hosts for Stand Up To Cancer Takeover: Live from London
By The Mirror
When the nation was stuck in lockdown, Munya Chawawa captured the collective mood at the time and burst onto the comedy scene with his incredibly timed parody sketches mocking the latest news – and made a huge lasting impression on viewers online.
Munya went on to produce favoured characters across his social media channels, receiving millions of views and has since seen success with major presenting gigs.
Tonight, he will be joined by presenting matriarch Davina McCall and comedians Adam Hills and Joe Lycett for Stand Up To Cancer Takeover: Live from London for a star-studded night of fundraising in aid of Channel 4’s Stand Up To Cancer. It’s a full-circle moment for the broadcaster as he started out presenting for the channel almost a decade ago.
The 30-year-old, who was born in Derby but spent his childhood in his father’s hometown of Zimbabwe, moved back to England with his family as a teen.
They lived in Norwich before he left his small village behind to study psychology at the University of Sheffield. Whilst there, he expressed his natural presenting ability and charisma behind the camera by setting up his own TV channel, which interviewed students on nights out.
Speaking to Patta in 2020 about his roots, the Instagram star said: “I tell people I’m Zimbabwean because, you know when you just connect with a place so deeply? Growing up in Zimbabwe, people are so positive and so happy you really do believe you can do anything.”
After graduating in 2014, he went on to secure jobs presenting for 4Music and PopShop, as well as interviewing stars on the red carpet for the Brits before his big break in comedy.
He has taken influence from comedians John Oliver, Andy Zaltzman and Sacha Baron Cohen and when discussing the creation behind his famous Unknown P character, Munya said he developed him “as a nod towards the appropriation and false ownership of black culture that often happens in western societies.”
But his success hasn’t stopped at the small screen, as he appeared on Celebrity MasterChef and hosted the MOBO Awards in 2021 and was a contestant for the 14th series of Channel 4’s Taskmaster a year later.
In 2022 he was also able to travel for his own C4 documentary following the life of Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe – with How to Survive a Dictator. And now he’s embarked on his UK stand-up tour, where he says: “People know the content, and the characters – but they don’t know me.”
Away from comedy, he has secured big brand deals with the likes of GiffGaff and modelled for Gym Shark, while being signed by Atlantic Records. And when it comes to his personal life, while he prefers not to mention too much about his adult life away from the cameras, it is believed he is still loved up with his long-term girlfriend Gabby.
He lives with the music management worker in London and the couple have been together for around six years. In an interview with The Evening Standard, he revealed she has been ‘patient’ with his rapid rise to fame. He admitted: “I think that’s what’s allowed me to put in the graft now.”