Senior comedians Alex Muhangi and Napoleone Ehmah have clarified on the issue raised about comedians who beg for money during the shows.
Through their social media pages, the two comedians have said they prioritise professionalism from the performers. Below are their submissions;
“Our attention has been drawn to concerns raised in the last few days regarding the issue of performers (comedians) soliciting money during their on-stage performances.
As a show that considers feedback key, we find it appropriate to clarify on a few matters.
Comedy, worldwide is a stress reliever and relaxer. And it is this that the Management and staff of Comedy Store Uganda strive to achieve always.
It is for this same reason we ensure the input of our audience even in selecting which performers feature on the show, is primary.
Our approach is unique, it is people-oriented. At the same time, we endeavor to offer a platform to promising talent.
As an industry that is still evolving, there is no doubt a few issues, including the professionalism required of the acts, remain a work in progress. Nonetheless, there are set standards that guide Comedy Store as a platform.
Management has severally engaged comedians on the conduct that is expected of them while on stage. In a bid to promote professionalism but also for the sake of customer experience.
We assure our audience that going forward, any conduct that goes against the set standards will not be tolerated. Measures have already been devised. We also appeal to the audience to in the same spirit not be the ones prompting comedians to solicit money.
Comedy Store strives to maintain what it is best known for – the premium comedy experience in Uganda,” Alex Muhangi posted.
Napoleone Ehmah also spoke about the issue and he is what he posted;
“Now…the points raised herein make sense and are very valid. You people come to our comedy shows to send away stress…there’s no reason to stress you the more by asking you to give us your life savings as if we’re NSSF.
But you must know that sometimes you cause your own misery.
1-There’s a number of Comedy shows in town where the directors ensure that begging is not on the menu. One such show is Fun Factory every Thursday at National theatre and the New #JustComedy every two weeks at Kingdom Kampala. I know about Just Comedy because as the director in charge comedy content (what goes on stage and TV)… I brief those with the begging tendency to leave it in their cars before they hit the stage.
You should know where you are going and what to expect.
“You can’t go to a strip club and complain that there are too many naked women. You can’t go to church and complain that are too many bibles and few businesses books.”
When football fans don’t love a player in their team, they boo him. They show him that they don’t like his input. If they cheered him despite disliking him, he would never know.
Same as comedy. If someone goes on stage and talks about sexual intercourse, private parts, etc and you cheer him on, he won’t know that you don’t like it. He will feed you on that plate paka paka.
On 28th/Aug, Amooti (the Comedy legend) went on stage, at Just Comedy, with an erotic dance (pushing his wire forward). The audience just looked in disgust and he noticed. He even said, “Mpozi bino tebikola wano,” (Oh, these dances don’t excite this audience). He quickly switched to school jokes and the audience followed him all thru plus giving a standing ovation when he was leaving.
That’s the power that you have as the audience but you don’t use it.
3- Stop generalising. There are many decent comedians in Uganda with international standards and they are getting booked abroad every year. ‘Don’t let today’s heavy rain trick you into thinking that Uganda is dominated by the rainy season.’
Finally, a case for Muhangi. I don’t think he tells any one to go and beg. Some mannerisms follow some chaps. Coz their introduction into comedy was from those surroundings of begging an undressing…and now they find themselves in a corporate setting and adjusting doesn’t come easy.
NB: Just Comedy will happen again on 8th/October. This time on a Tuesday…. A day before independence day.
We shall be doing a ‘memory lane show’ of the ‘Mic Check.’….bringing together the guys who started this game.
-Napoleone is the director in charge comedy content at Just Comedy Ug.
-Napoleone is the Spokesperson of TUCA- The Uganda Comedians Association,” Napoleone posted.