(Kenneth kimuli aka Pablo and Patricia met at the National Theatre and she spent the afternoon laughing to Pablo’s wit)
Have you perform for an audience that didn’t find you funny, because you blow me man?
I died on stage, we call it dying on stage. I’ve died like three times on stage. In 2010, I was telling them different ways of killing a rat; I started by telling them they can mix posho and cement, such that when the rat eats the posho mixed with cement and it drinks water, a brick forms within it and it wouldn’t move. But people just looked at me, like I was a terrorist or they were related to the rats because they stubbornly refused to laugh. I told them several stories I even suggested they give them waragi. But nobody laughed, everybody looked at me. The second time was at a function, and biggest percentage of the audience were people from downtown, Kikuubo but I wasn’t informed. I went with the assumption that they were my usual English speaking audience. I went there did my thing and the batembeyi (meaning hawkers or traders) didnt laugh, after the show the guy told me that ,”ahh Pablo we forgot to tell you that these guys don’t know English.” Then the last one was a tragedy, I was invited for an end of year party but before I could perform the emcee announced that food was ready and that’s the time they called Pablo to perform, guys started shouting that they wanted food not mboozi(meaning conversation). Those guys had been waiting for the food like for ages.
Is your son very stubborn?
My son’s other name is activity. He is crazy in a good way, I took him to church and he reached for the pastor’s microphone so I’m reclined to having him in Sunday school, I go with him because they eat biscuits in Sunday school. He wants to drive, he doesn’t like toys anymore (shows her videos of his sons on his phone).
What were you doing before comedy?
I came to National Theatre in 2003, I had just finished my Degree in Mass media, journalism and creative writing at the university of Namasagali. My first job was freelance writing with the Daily Monitor before I joined comedy.
What is the contrast between the comedy here and around Africa?
I should say I don’t see sketch comedy elsewhere. Sketch is the kind Fun and Theatre Factory do, where there are two or more people. We have plenty of things in common though. For example in Nigeria, most of the jokes are about their regions, different people, culture, food, just like we play with tribes here. However when it comes to international shows, they cut across. I think it’s more or less the same. The difference is the similarity if that makes sense.
What do you say about copyright?
One thing that I believe is that the first impression gives an opinion. If we give half baked material or come up with material that is same content, then the corporate world may never want to associate with us or relate the copyright with comedy, however, on the other hand, what may be perceived as trash happens to sell in Uganda. For example, I have been to some shows where guys come and talk about crazy stuff and people give them an ovation. People tell disgusting toilet jokes and get away with it. So I wonder what is a good joke in Uganda, because the audience you are performing for makes you funny.