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Uganda Tastes Rwandan Comedy

The bar had been raised so high by a group of Ugandan stand-up comedians, but Rwanda’s Herve Kimenyi, as the headline act, put up a spirited fight to try and level things.

Pablo Live show, a monthly comedy night where comedian Kenneth Kimuli aka Pablo flies in a continental comedian, returned last Friday at the National Theatre. The show last month attracted renowned Nigerian Godwin Omoneh aka Gordons. This month, Pablo went next door to bring in our Rwandan brother Kimenyi.

Now, Kimenyi is not like the Nigerian, South African or Kenyan comedians who have been here. In fact, not many of us warmed up to him. However, because the show has cemented itself as one that offers a complete package of clean humour with some surprises, it still attracted a bubbly audience. The audience did not match Gordons’, but at least they filled up the lower section of the auditorium, although you could hardly see anyone in the gallery.

Among the audience was the Rwandan community headed by their high commissioner to Uganda. Both countries’ flags were raised on either side of the stage. Host Pablo took the lead and I must say it was one of his best nights. Cracking the audience with joke after joke, he prepared us for “truth that comes unexpectedly”. He gave an example of a friend who thought he had been innovative by referring to his wife as ‘mother of seven.’ That at first the wife liked it, but when he began using it outside their home, it did not go down well with his wife.

So, while attending a family meeting one day, he introduced his wife in the same way, which prompted the woman to stand up and say: “Excuse me, father of three… ” You can imagine the husband’s chagrin.

But the real deal of the night was stammering stand-up comedian Smart Ayokyayokya. Just his stammering alone left many choking with laughter, and yet his jokes were so funny as they rained. He started off with Uganda, which he said if it were a film, it would be a horror.

After those performances, I felt sorry for Kimenyi as he made it to the stage at 9:20pm. He began by messing it up, cracking a joke about Ugandan prostitutes, which did not amuse guests that had come with children. But soon he realized that would not work and asked the audience: “How many people here have been to Rwanda?”

And as they raised up their hands, he said: “My condolences.”

For the next 40 minutes, his jokes revolved around ICT, and that was not surprising because Rwanda is known as East Africa’s ICT hub. He wondered why people usually raise their iPads and smart phones whenever he is on stage, yet he is usually in “high definition.”

He also joked about technology turning us into machines you can be with a person in the same room but trying to connect with him via bluetooth. Other Ugandan comedians who performed included Uncle Bob, who continued with his form but not like last month. Up and coming comedian, TD Jakes, was also back. He is fast carving out his niche for mimicking American pastor TD Jakes.

Although I am yet to figure out what makes him funny, I liked his gospel touch.

Source : The Observer

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