Mendo (real name Herbert Ssegujja) is a comedian has earned fame by mimicking President Yoweri Museveni. He had a chat with Glorias Musiime about his career and personal life.
Where were you born?
I was born in Mukono district but grew up in Luweero under the care of my grandmother.
When did you start serious comedy?
Since my childhood, I started imitating all personalities in our area especially Ssalongo John, the former radio personality. I got interested in speaking like Ssalongo and then later, I tried to imitate President Museveni until I perfected it and that is how I started.
Why Museveni of all people?
I like him. He has a good sense of humour.
Did you try to have body guards to?
Yes, in 2003, I used to have over 15 ‘bodyguards’ and a ‘first lady’ but later I dropped that idea.
Which challenges did you face at the beginning of your career?
I had a costumes challenge for the personality I wanted to imitate. His trade mark hats, shirts, the yellow ties among others. I had to stuff something in the shirt to make ‘a presidential stomach.’
When I was denied to perform at a gathering in Mpigi where they refused me to act ‘Mr president.’
Did you have any issue with State House over imitating the President?
They liked me from the start.
How did you come up with the Name teacher Mpamire?
Mpamire Arthur was my History 3 teacher whom I liked so much. He was very good European History high school teacher. He helped me pass exams and this is how I chose to pay him back by naming myself ‘teacher Mpamire.’
Tell us about your links with the President.
He is my number one fan. I am honoured to be the President’s official comedian; he got to understand comedy because of what I do. He appreciated and sponsored me for comedy training at American comedy institute in New York City which is the best comedy school.
What have you achieved from comedy?
I have a comedy school called comfort comedy clinic which nurtured paunch liners who perform at Theatre Labonita.
Are you dating?
Yes, I am seeing someone.
Being a comedian, does she take you serious?
At times, I bring comedy in our relationship. She understands who I am, so she takes me serious.
Do your female fans have a crush on you?
They do. Some approach me but I know how to handle them. I take them as my fans. I keep it cool and leave bursting in laughter.
Where do you see comedy in the next 3 years?
If comedians stick to it, it will be the best fan industry ever.
Would you date your fellow comedian?
I don’t consider the career, its love that matters.
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Fans have crush on me - comedian Mendo