By Edward Nimusiima
Uganda’s comedy industry is slowly crawling through the woodwork and taking shape. It has been around, yes, but it is escalating at a tremendous rate and of late, we have seen many comedy shows take place and they come off as a wrap.
The latest show was a unique one, though. It was dubbed “Comedy Meets Music”, or “On Fire” where celebrated Zambian gospel artist Pompi joined talents with Pablo as they unveiled Karen Hasasha Kimuli (Pablo’s wife, left) and Band Baraka.
The show started off with a prayer and Watoto kids dancing well-choreographed moves, and were followed by the man of the night, Pablo. He is arguably the best comedian in Uganda and as he climbed that gleaming stage, people started laughing and cackling uncontrollably. He cracked a barrage of jokes about the latest glum Westgate carnage; yes, it was supposed to be a touching moment which would have brought tears of pain in the eyes, but it instead brought tears of laughter as he danced around those ugly happenings. And that makes Pablo a natural comedian.
Mr. Googz, a Kenyan gospel artist, followed thereafter with his famous hit, Gospel celebrity which made everyone rise on their feet and dance, and sing along, mainly the chorus.
Then it was time for Band Baraka to sing to the best of their talents and they quickly settled the debate that live bands are the best thing to happen to Ugandan music industry lately. The latest comedy duo, Bob and Simiyu, also made the crowd cackle with mirth.
Daniel Omara, who was recently included among the best 50 comedians in Africa, once again reminded us that he is not only one of the best here, he is one of the best in Africa too. But even though people were laughing and falling off their chairs, one thing stuck out like a proverbial sore thumb; comedians have a tendency of recycling jokes which is a bad vice because it kills the essence of comedy.
Pompi and Karen, together, did Church Is On Fire and later, Pompi left the stage for Karen who rattled through most of her songs. It was her unveiling and, people, Karen can sing and she has a bright future ahead of her if she keeps at it.
Pompi was the last performer of the night. Donning a black shirt and a red bowtie, he had an exhilarating performance. He did Love Letter and his famous No Rent which magically lifted everyone to the floor and rendering them to dance, to sing along. He also did Nipempela and one of the crowd’s favourites Giant Killer. The unquenched crowd begged for more and he did his personally written poem before performing Tule Shana which brought the show to an end.