Rib-crackers: There are times when your timeline or handle will get so boring; what with those annoying posts from your friends ‘having dinner.. ‘oh this rain..’ ‘me and bae..’ yawn, right?! Well, there are guys on social media whose timeline or handle is a bad idea to check out during work hours – you won’t work! Mathias Wandera writes.
Admit it, being funny is tough business. I mean, we have all had those fleeting moments of failed humour. Think about the number of times you have posted something ‘funny’ in a Whatsapp group, only to attract 21 comments all saying the same thing: “Stale!” Yes, like many stand-up comedians have gotten to learn, humour has a cruel audience. It is very easy to crack a joke and watch your own joke fall right on its face; the audience unmoved and irritated.
And there is nowhere you will find a more unforgiving audience than that on social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter. Here, even folk with zero humour will find the audacity to punch holes in any joke anybody makes, demanding that you either find one funny bone in your body and tell a real joke or go home.
It is for this reason that even the established names in Kampala’s comedy circles have failed to be labelled comics on social media. Every joke they make is met with mean but funny comments, sometimes deservedly so, and before you know it, the joke is on the intended rib-cracker themselves. Nonetheless, there are those specific characters that have managed to push their sense of humour through and earn the acceptance of the overly-judgmental online audience. These are the comic game-changers on UG’s social media and if you are not following them already, then I bet you are not having as much fun as the rest of us.
A sports presenter on KFM, Patrick Kanyomozi is a renowned sports journalist. But question is, if Kanyomozi was not talking sports, what would he be doing? Well, he would so not be Uganda Cranes captain or coach, rather a comedian. And if you do not agree, then surely you have not been following his Facebook page – Patriq Kanyomozi District. His district may not be recognised by the current government, but it is the kind many Ugandans would not mind living in because all you get from there is a daily dose of laughter. Remember the Desire Luzinda challenge? Well, he started it and recently, a picture of him imitating NBA superstar Lebron James’ tears-of-joy celebratory moment, with him holding a fire extinguisher, had many social media users in stitches. But such is Kanyomozi’s content on social media; not just funny but many times punctuated with an element of reverse psychology. While many are crying about floods, he will take to Facebook to punch out his hillarious take on why floods are actually a blessing to Kampala.
“I always find a funny and light side even from a serious topic because I believe life should not be too serious,” Kanyomozi says.
Wild Bwaku Reloaded
“Confidence is when you open up a pork joint in Kawempe or Kibuli.” You must have seen that line make rounds in WhatsApp groups sometime this year. Well, your friend that sent it to you did not actually craft it. That is one of the so many ‘one-liners’ folk that follow Wild Bwaku Reloaded on Facebook usually get to ‘steal’ and share, saying they coined the joke themselves. Wannabes!
Real name Hakeem Bwaku, the 34-year-old Community Psychology graduate from Makerere University started his Facebook account just like anybody else, mainly googling funny pictures and sharing them. But as his following quickly rose, he decided to get creative with his posts. “I began by studying what my followers like, which I learnt were posts about things they go through; taxis, boda bodas, landlords, relationships and exes, which are now the things I post most about. Later, when I started seeing my posts in every WhatsApp group, I decided to turn the account into a page, Wild Bwaku, which I have rebranded to Wild Bwaku Reloaded.”
His page is quite successful, but perhaps not entirely. “Good jokes alone are not enough; they also need to be original.” It is thus his policy to never replicate material. He also says delivery is important and should vary to cater for all preferences. That is why he adopts both story-format and single-line jokes. Ironically, the social media comic believes he is not funny in real life. “I’m reserved and always home.” Boring, right? Perhaps he is also shy and that is why he prefers to keep his picture locked up. But if you find a tall, dark and fairly big guy with a bald scalp loitering about town, laugh out loud because that could be Mr Wild Bwaku!
Joram Lovins Kawira aka Odd Ras
Arsenal fans should know him. Why? Well, he is the guy that cleans dust from the empty trophy cabinet at Arsenal, or at least that is what his Facebook profile reads as his job.
And when he is not in London cleaning that lonely cabinet, he is busy on social media cracking ribs. Real name Joram Kawira, this 26-year-old can easily be labeled Facebook’s king of gag. He is funny alright, but perhaps what gives him an edge is the uniqueness of the language in which his jokes are wrapped.
Most of his jokes are dished out in Luganda, something he says came as a distinctive strategy: “I used to pull it off in English but felt it was limiting my creativity and originality. I believed I could be extra creative and humourous in the local language, and I was right because now it is my Luganda posts that are most liked. Besides, I wanted to be unique so I chose a different language.”
The language aspect may leave the non-Luganda speaking lot off the wagon. But for those who know and enjoy the language, Lovins, is your guy to follow.
His are not exactly one-liner punch lines. He prefers to wrap his jokes in short stories, and draws them from anything, especially topics that are easy to relate with. “Most of the posts are my day-to-day experiences and given that most people have experienced the same, they easily relate.”
Even off social media, the Kyambogo University graduate is still the same funny character, which is sometimes a problem for him. “People meet you off Facebook and expect you to be cracking jokes all the time. I think I am mistaken for a comedian. But it is fine, I enjoy making friends and followers laugh.”
Kawira works as a data clerk at UNEB.
Do not be fooled people, for this is not Nigerian reggae-dancehall singer and songwriter. Have you seen those Ugandan wannabes that go around social media tip-toeing under the names of established superstars? This could be one of them. But who knows? Running under the Twitter handle @pyepar, this Patoranking says he only uses the name because he is a die-hard fan of the Nigerian star boy.
Real name Pyepar Almaktoum Faisal, the recent graduate of Telecommunication Engineering may not be a talented musician, but he is surely a gifted comic.
Scrolling through his Twitter only makes for a wide-smile affair. He always has something funny to tweet and when his own tweets fail to crack you up, his responses to other people’s tweets will get you giggling, something he says comes from his laugh-at-their-pain kind of attitude. “Weird but I get my punch-lines from the things people complain about. I just make fun of whatever they hate, and they love that.”
His wit has managed to garner him a loyal following of more than 23,000 people. These numbers have, however, not warmed up his true character because Pyepar still remains his shy self in person, only luckier with girls perhaps. “When I first started acting and tweeting funny, it was partly to get girls to notice me. My wallet settings were never that impressive so I needed another strong quality. And much as I am still shy, I am now noticeable because everyone knows I am fun.”
There is usually a very thin line between being smart and being plain funny. For Godwin Nuwaha (@Nuwaha17), it is hard to tell which side of the line he falls. His jokes are not the kind that will build a whirl of laughter to put you down in tatters, but they always manage to evoke a smile, and if you stop and think about his lines in depth, you will find yourself smiling moments later. That is what they call smart humour.
And like many tweeps, Nuwaha’s wit is more pronounced through his responses to other people’s tweets. Perhaps it is right to say his sense of humour thrives on the lack thereof of the rest of the pack. Generally however, the 21-year-old claims to derive his jokes from everything around him. “I get my lines from life, because life itself is a big joke.”
As is the case for many funny figures on Twitter however, his humour is many times lost in the excessive retweets. Crazy how people with a sharp sense of humour insist on retweeting content with lame humour! Anyway, Nuwaha has still managed to keep a following, which he braggingly claims is no big deal. “I have thousands of followers, but even 50 would be okay. I don’t mind about the numbers, Jesus had 12.”
While Kenyans can brag about Kenyans On Twitter (#KOT) being a movement, Ugandans On Twitter (#UOT) remains just a community. And the reason is simple; Ugandans have too much lugambo they cannot wrap up all they want to say in 140 characters, which explains why many join Twitter and then dish it shortly after to go crowd on Facebook.
For those that have remained active on Twitter however, there is no denying that some of the smartest social media comics are ‘tweeps.’ And one such comic is Talib Jim. His Twitter handle is under his real name, @TalibJim, and if you are not already following him, then you are not using Twitter right.
His Twitter bio reads: “Activist”. But don’t be fooled, tweeps tell all kinds of lies in their bio, something Talib does not hesitate to come clean about. “I’m no activist of anything. That’s a bluff.”
The 25-year-old holds two diplomas, one in auto electric engineering from Nakawa Institute and another in auto mobile engineering from Kyambogo University. Ask him what he does however, and he will say: “I breathe.” Perhaps that is why he intimates somewhere in his tweets how much he hates it when girls ask what he does.
Lucky for him though, girls do not mind much about your occupation if you are a funny guy. Talib will tweet about anything and still get you smiling sheepishly behind your computer. But do not visit his handle if your sense of humour is bent towards Nakasero market. Twitter humour has a certain level of sophistication, so if you are the kind that never wears a witty cap, you won’t gerrit!