Dickon Zizinga will induce laughter from the audience immediately he steps on stage, Robert Kalumba discovered his magic.
We here at Sqoop are about to throw in the towel when it comes to hunting down celebrities requesting for an interview. It’s becoming such a painstaking job. The fella you’re looking at now, took us on an infuriating goose chase, which lasted over 72 hours and nearly involved the Police! Yes, at one moment we thought the fella had been kidnapped by aliens!
His phone was off and when it was on and we got in touch with him and did the whole “okay let’s meet tomorrow at 5pm,” routine, the fella’s phone (come 5pm that day) would be off! You all know that cartoon, the Road Runner right?
Well, at-times like the road runner in that cartoon, the comedian Dickson Zizanga was proving impossible to “catch!” But at the last minute, we caught up with him … at a bar along Dewinton Road. No he wasn’t drinking or drunk. Rather, that is his daytime office as a cab driver whose station is on Dewintin Road. You didn’t know that Zizinga was a cab driver? Well, read along because more hilarious revelations are to follow!
How in God’s name did you end up as a cabbie?
Well the story is quite long. It started way back in the late 90s. You see I grew up on this street here, Plot 3 Dewinton Road. My uncle was a cab driver at that time here. So whenever, he retired from work and parked his car, me and my cousin Rashid Mayengo would steal it and teach ourselves how to drive. It went on for some time without my uncle knowing and by the time he found out, I had perfected my driving. So I started asking him to cab and he accepted. That was in 1994. So when he retired from work in the evening, I started my shift. And to this day, I do cabbing.
Cabbie to comedian, that’s one hell of a “career switch. How did that happen?”
Yes people always don’t believe it. I always had comedy in me. I loved making people laugh. However, when it came to going on stage, I was always shy. Even at school I never participated in any drama sessions because I was shy. But in 1997, that same cousin of mine who knew my potential encouraged me to join a theatre troupe called Threatricos owned by Christopher Mukiibi, which I did and that was the birth of my comedy journey.
How was it like, first time going on stage especially from a shy guy?
You won’t believe it but I never rehearsed for my first stage role. It was in Mukiibi’s play entitled Abasa N’abasa and I played a character called “Eddie”, a young man who got his money from befriending and hoodwinking sugar mummies! Mukiibi and the crowd liked what I did and suddenly that stage fright disappeared.
You and English are not best friends are you?
Hahahaha…. I don’t know, but that’s how I speak my English and it seems people love it.
Speaking of people loving what you do, I guess you do get hit on quite a number of times.
Yes, why not? You know how girls are. “Dickson we love what you do!” Oh yes I get that lot. I’m famous and funny, women like such.
And what do you do with that attention … you must be “hitting” them right!?
Hahahaha, please leave me alone. I have a woman at home and I don’t want any problems. I’m already in problems with her. Can you imagine one time there was a woman who walked up to her telling her “Are you the girlfriend of Zizinga? Ehh mama nga you are lucky. Do you know how many women would love to be in your shoes?” Poor me, here I am watching television and my woman comes in screaming at me, “Eh you, it seems every time you are with women. I found this woman telling me she wants to be with you!” Sometimes women confuse me.
Speaking of women, how many kids do you have?
I have five children from three women. My first woman bore me two children. We had issues though. She never believed in having a comedian as a husband. We divorced in 1999. Sadly she passed away in 2006. She was poisoned by her relatives. The next woman I got bore me one kid. We parted ways. She was from a rich family and her family I think couldn’t accept me … drama. She too passed away. She was hit by an iron bar by these iron bar thugs in 2010 and she died. The current one I’m with bore me my other children.
Goodness and when are you two separating?
Actually even this one I’m with is already complaining. She doesn’t believe that you can have a husband who is an actor. She’s always mourning, “Gwe you must be with women every time you go upcountry to act!” Sometimes I get a headache.
Do you ever do gigs of your own say eemcing?
I used to but stopped. It really is annoying doing gigs by yourself. You get poorly paid for them and people think you have money. You remember those adverts on TV that I did of Warid and Total. People thought I had got a lot of money. I started receiving calls from relatives in the village I didn’t know about telling me how they needed money and when I told them I didn’t have, they used to go, “Nga we see you on television every day, you are mean you man give us money!” The advert that killed me was the one for Total! It went on for months and I received calls for months with people asking me for money. If only people knew that we are paid peanuts despite “seeing us on television for months!”
If one wanted to hire you for a wedding gig how much would like to be paid?
Shs1m. Listen, I’m famous and I’m going to give you material that I have rehearsed, researched and re…everything. So why pay me Shs300,000 for that?
Any last words, Mr Zizinga?
Yes I do have last words. I’m appealing to our government to try and find a way to limit the time given to foreign productions that are aired on our television stations. You find the likes of simanya, Don’t Mess With An Angel, oba it’s called Don’t Mess With Saborati? Anyway you find those shows lasting a full hour and local productions like The Hostel being given 30 minutes. Go ask Ugandans what they want and they won’t tell you Saborati. Why can’t we be like the Kenyans? There, 60 per cent of the content shown on their screens has to be local content. Please let the government promote local content on our screens.