One such critic declared comedy in Uganda dead, arguing that comedians cannot even perform outside our dusty city. Before this homeboy could even get some rest, Anne Kansiime was packing halls in Malawi, then Patrick ‘Salvado’ Idringi was rocking other coasts.
In the just-concluded Only the Best content extravaganza by MultiChoice Africa in Mauritius, Salvado brought the house full of different African journalists down. This was the final night and probably the biggest of them all thrown by MTV Base in conjunction with Viacom DSTV channel, Comedy Central.
Now if you watch those funny men on Comedy Central, you will realize that our comedians come short on almost all fronts – research, preparations and delivery not just the Ugandans, but African comedians. The first performance of the night was by one Kagiso from South Africa.
There was this feel about him that made any sane person think he would fail to crack us up his shabby hair, suspenders and geek glasses all easily qualified him for a cheap crowd where clowning still thrives. But he started off well, then soon fell off the radar when he started delivering more F-bombs than punch lines the last nail in his coffin was a sick joke about statesman Nelson Mandela’s death.
Then in came Salvado. The six of us from Uganda cheered it was the only time our country was getting a mention in the five days we had been in Mauritius, so our plan was simple: to laugh at each and everything he said, funny or not. After his predecessor had been given a bloody nose by the hard-to-please crowd, the Ugandan had clearly revised his stuff.
“I have never stood in a room with so many white people,” he started. “I feel like Obama.” The room went wild.
Within no time the house was drowning in laughter. Salvado was in control even the anti-social Kenyan media, which had earlier refused to acknowledge the presence of their neighbours, had started to introduce themselves as East Africans – where the comedian comes from. Our prepared fake laughter was rendered unnecessary the engineer-turned-comedian was holding his own.
For a Ugandan of course many of the jokes were recycled, but it was all fresh for the larger audience so, we too laughed afresh. When Salvado got off the stage, the whole room went wild as others wiped away tears of mirth and just like that, on the last day of the trip, Uganda got the last laugh.
Source : The Observer