Building a hub for local comedy takes time

Building a hub for local comedy takes time


During the week the comedian told the ‘Star’ that the idea behind this event was just another step in their endeavour to create a kind of synergy amongst comics, not only in East Africa but across the continent and beyond. Currently, there is no such thing, as a stable platform here for comedians.

This is why they intend using this club as a hub towards creating a network, which will eventually operate worldwide for this purpose. This is one of the products from Vuvuzela Entertainment, which is based in the Mwananyamala section of Dar es Salaam. It focuses solely on comedy, with the aim of pushing its agenda locally and across the region.

Right now Evans Bukuku is the headliner but he says the idea is that eventually, as young talents join the club, others would also take this spot. As the General Manager of this company, from which the club is a product, Bukuku said he believes comedy is the ideal platform for communication because one can talk about anything using it.

As a package he says their objectives are, “To nature new talents, invite talents from abroad and to create synergies amongst local and regional players.” This he says can do wonders, as was evident last December. That event he maintains was a successful one for a number of reasons.

They got good revenues for what they did despite having to overcome an enormous  financial challenge. That is why today he only has words of thank for all those who made it happen. He maintains that it is events like that show, which has put them in a position this 2012, whereby they can be looking to do even greater things. Last year they also brought a British artist called Jane Bussmann, who had previously performed in the UK parliament.

Now they have come with a new bag of contents for this coming Tuesday, which he admits is a challenge that pushes them to strive for higher heights every time. Although a comedian, who gets his jokes from how he sees life and his experiences, he remains optimistic that he will always bring new material to these monthly performances. This standard he insist from those who work with him.

From it is from this attitude of continually pushing the boundaries that they have reached a point where they now have writers and other stand-up comedians setting a foundation towards building a sustainable stable industry in the future, right here. Each one of the four artists, who is to perform in the up-coming show on Tuesday, has a unique style, which is exactly what, according to Bukuku, they are looking for.

Abdul Yusuph a.k.a Dogo Pepe takes lots of his experiences from Uswazi (typical Swahili communities) for his pieces. These he compares with other areas he has been projected to. Meanwhile, Raymond Mushi a.k.a Ray is more of an impressionist. He is said to be good at imitating  wellknown voices, like Reginald Mengi and former president, Benjamin Mkapa. A former university student, Ray has his own intellectual way of getting his points across, Bukuku said. Now the local songstress,  Atuganile Enika Bukuku, who is simply known as Enika also, has her own style.

Being a musician, she uses songs that have been modified in a way that she brings out the humorous aspects, which are caught in the message of her lyrics. These three perform for five to ten minutes, whereas Bukuku has to hold the stage for 50 minutes. The new venue, Nyumbani Lounge, referred to in the poster; Bukuku says is ideal for stand-up comedy shows because it has a perfect seating capacity, which allows an audience to have a cosy relationship with the performers, whilst it accommodates enough people in one place.

He also believes its  location on the outskirts of the city centre makes it suitable to spectators coming from all corners of Dar es Salaam. Tuesday’s event will be the first show at the new venue since they started with these  monthly presentations in December 2010. “It’s been a great ride. And we are really grateful to all those  who have supported us, even if it’s just by telling us to hang-on in there.

We have done many things like going out to Temeke Mwembe Yanga just to check out how people respond to stand-up comedy. We have invested in the training and still say that our biggest problem lies in the lack of sponsorship. Last year we operated by borrowing but this year we are setting out to build a strong financial base,” he said.

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