27 January 2013

Uganda: Here Come the Queens of Comedy

As the call for creativity continues to fetch Ugandan comedians, female comedians on Friday decided to take up the mantle by unveiling a new comedy night known as "Queens of Comedy."

The night, slated to happen every last Friday of the month at Laftaz lounge in Centenary park, features Uganda's top female comedians who have been working with different comedy groups. It has Kotilda Inapo from The Crackers, Leila Kalanzi from Akandolindoli, and Ann Kansiime of Fun Factory. Whether this comedy night will stand the test of time, is a debate for another day. But as usual, the start is not easy.

By 8pm when the show was set to start, one would pass it off as a flop. However, at half past the hour; almost all the seats were full - with men too turning up to support the ladies -although everything from deejaying to emceeing was left to the women. According to Inapo, the night has been started to motivate women to take up comedy, because not many women are bold enough to become comedians.

"We advertised on Facebook [calling for] women to join us and some agreed, but at the last hour, only one turned up," Inapo told The Observer.

Inapo hopes that by the end of the year, a good number of women will have joined the sector currently dominated by men. For starters, they have managed to attract Lindsey Kukunda, a co-host of Sanyu FM Breakfast show. But much as she is interested in comedy, she found a hard time tickling patrons. Her joke was about the sluggishness of Batooro waitresses. Although the audience was attentive, none was impressed by her lecture-tone delivered joke.

Some booed her and clapped before she was done. Perhaps such is what has barred women from joining comedy. Meanwhile for Kukunda, the ball is set and she is not about to give up stand-up comedy.

"I also risked for four years without anyone laughing at my jokes", Kansiime said, emphasizing that it was normal for the audience not to show support at the beginning.

For the rest of the group, it was rib-cracking throughout the show. And from the audience's reaction, Leila 'Kacapizo' Kalanzi holds the female comedy flag. As soon as she took centre stage with her usual screams, everyone was already torn in laughter. There was nothing much she showcased while emphasing her joke of how town-groomed and village women behave. She kept laughing at her own jokes. Contagious.

The show was spiced up with a skit about the woes of pregnant women in hospitals. In this case Leila was the pregnant woman who could hardly express herself in the local language but when she needed help, she was forced to use Luganda. If we are to rate who did it better, Anne Kansiime did a great job, especially while acting as a pupil (her specialty) and also when she mimicked the Bakiga.

She portrayed how innocent they are and how they appreciate traffic jam in Kampala because back in Kabale, jam is only seen when a rich man is wedding. Also, when she danced kikiga to every song, whether slow or fast, to portray that all dance strokes hail from Kabale.

It is too early to judge the group; however, the ball has been set rolling by securing sponsorship from Blue Cube, Jomayi Property Consultants and Club beer.

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