Two things brought the Africa Laughs short of magnificent. The first was time, which was poorly managed so the show ended up dragging till past 2am. By then the Victoria Hall at Kampala Serena Hotel had almost quarter of the hundreds of people who had graced the show.
Second was the line-up of comedians which could have been managed better.
Organisers chose to end with guest comedy performers, some of whom were not as funny as the previously billed. Overall, the show was a mixed bag- exciting and dragging – at the same time.
Homeboy duo of Madrat & Chico took the day as arguably the night’s biggest highlight. They left revellers in stitches with their stage chemistry that naturally resulted into witty, hilarious spontaneity. Fans laughed so hard at the duo’s delivery that they either ended up shedding tears or coughing hard.
More local talent in Teacher Mpamiire, Prince Ehmah, Bright Onak and first session host Ronnie McVex proved that they are funny.
They set the stage and built momentum that made it an uphill task for some comedians to tickle fans as hard. That is how Alex Muhangi and Rwanda’s Arthur Nkusi and annoyingly, Pablo ended up forcing people out of the vast Victoria Hall doors. These three threw tired jokes revellers laughed at them instead. Muhangi’s toilet joke has been told countless times it has become annoying, while Pablo was just Pablo, the storyteller with ‘stories’ from 15 years ago.
For Nkusi, probably the only good thing about him on the day was the costume. Yes, he was smart. Smarter than his jokes.
Good enough these three have better paying day jobs.
If it was about quantifying the Africa Laughs notion, then Ndumiso Lindi, Carl Joshua Ncube and Bovi were on stage to do that. Show host Patrick Salvador did not spare his father in cracking up fans, throwing a jibe at him for ‘fathering eight children’.
Well, the comedian got a serious message out, appreciating his old man for putting all eight of them through school using a solo business of a retail shop. He must have been busy selling tickets to come up with new material, or jokes. He reached out in his bag of old jokes, recycled them and still managed to keep fans smiling. Unlike Pablo and Muhangi.
“Guys thanks for turning up. This is not a joke. I am really happy and feel relieved seeing you all. I appreciate the love and support,” Salvador told the audience between introducing comedians. Eric Omondi was replaced by Chip Keezy, magically disappeared with some fan’s money.