Okello Okello: His deputy head teacher at Busoga College Mwiri laid the ground for his comedy dream. Although he was worried about his family’s reaction, they supported his career. Okello Okello shared this journey with his fan Myrah Ahmed Lwanga.
Why did you pick interest in comedy?
I chose comedy because it seemed fun and besides, it was the only opportunity I had to share my opinions without going to Parliament.
When did you join the comedy industry?
Psychologically, I joined in 2010 while in high school, although I would copy and paste Basket Mouth’s jokes. I joined serious comedy in 2013.
Apart from comedy, what else do you do?
I am a marketer by day at a big telecom company.
What is the best joke you have cracked?
It was about my uncle, Okwete, who loved alcohol so much; one time he ordered for a fire extinguisher, thinking it was a beer bottle with a big straw. Instead of a DNA, he just tested his children’s alcohol percentage.
Which comedy group are you part of and why?
Comedy Files UG and Punchliners Comedy group at Waikiki because they saw talent in me and are willing to make it grow.
Who inspired you to start doing comedy?
Surprisingly, it was my deputy headmaster at Busoga College Mwiri, Mr Henry Mugoya. He always said, “You are funny, you shouldn’t give up comedy”. He gave us a platform in school. Pablo also inspired me. I watch him in admiration. He is a legend, yet still humble.
Who is your favourite comedian in Uganda?
Daniel Omara. He is intelligent and his skull looks very hard, lol. But every comedian has a unique thing about them.
What type of comedy do you do?
I do stand up, but I am a narrator, which some people call story telling.
People don’t seem to take comedy as a serious thing. Did your family approve of your choice of career?
It was a shock to them because I am the quietest at home. My family is noisy. They learnt I was doing comedy when they saw me on TV. My mum says she turned the TV upside down to be sure. Somehow, I thought I would be airlifted to Moroto, but they didn’t. My parents are among my number one supporters.
Do you remember the first joke you cracked?
First joke, huh. “Hello my name is Okello Okello I’m on Facebook but I don’t have a profile picture because of my skin colour”. Eh time flies!
Have you ever been embarrassed?
Yes. I remember borrowing shoes from a friend for a leaver’s party. I looked smart and got a beautiful date, but out of the blue the owner of the shoes walked to us and said, “Man, walk properly with the shoes because daddy told me to keep them well.” The girl dumped me and went with the DJ. I will follow that guy to heaven just to make sure he doesn’t enter.
Make me laugh.
I hated exams a lot because some other students made us fail even before doing the paper. You go for an English exam and guys have a mathematical set, long ruler, and pipette. I ask the guy what the set was for. “It’s for summary writing”. Ten minutes into the exam, they ask for more paper. I saw the bursary going, so I became creative and asked for graph paper in an English exam. You should see the confusion every one gave me. I could hear them whisper “Abo abachope bamanyi oluzungu”, meaning those northerners know too much English. Everyone panicked. I could see guys plotting graphs of similes against idioms. After the exam, they asked me, “Okello why haven’t you used the graph paper?” With a wide smile, I responded, “I was practicing for the math paper tomorrow”. And that is how I won the bursary.