It was not long ago when Comedian Okello Okello started the Comedy Black Friday. The idea was one that was easily captivating when he first rolled out in 2019.
Then, silent disco was a thing that captured people’s imaginations, literally every part of the city had one but still, the idea of silent comedy was still somewhat ridiculous. Yet all these editions later, Comedy Black Friday is one of the most successful comedy products in Kampala.
A night of firsts
On Friday, another Black Friday was held, you could say the National Theatre is a holy grail of Ugandan comedy, not a single performer has failed to get an audience here. Though, what makes Black Friday is not merely a fact that it sells out, but the amount of talent each edition introduces.
Of course, it is safe to say the first edition of the show was not just introducing the concept of silent comedy but he was introducing himself to audiences as well. There were many people that may have known Okello Okello but he remained what you would call underground, the shows made a splash on making him a mainstream comedian.
Besides the 2020 lockdown, Okello has been very consistent with the Black Friday comedy editions and has done a great deal in scouting for new talent from the Kampala outskirts and beyond. For instance, he has not done a show without a comedian from up-country and this at times is as far as Arua or Gulu.
Some of these comedians may not be necessarily new, but they have probably not done a set of their own, some have what it takes but have only been MCs at events and the show is usually their first dive into the deep.
Then there are those he chooses to celebrate because of their contribution to comedy, take an example of Timothy Nyanzi, he is a comedy mentor and trainer that has worked with comics such as Hillary Okello, Anne Kansiime and Okello Okello himself.
The Friday show brought together a great group of talent that had familiar faces such as Nyanzi, Kalela, Hillary Okello and Omukebete, while he also had an arsenal of fresh comedians still getting their act together.
The content through the night was cutting across from politics, general life and some of them about comedy as a profession.
Since the first show in 2019, most of the comedians he has had on his set have gone on to host their debut solo shows and if that is anything to go by, we can truly say the show has become such a platform for comedians finding their footing.