It took us a while to realise that Anne Kansiime is not the funniest comedian from Uganda. A good number of the best comedians are holding public office, with most masquerading as great politicians yet they are most at home making us laugh. Maybe politics was just a way of getting the biggest stage and the most attention before settling into what they know best: jokes!
The Deputy's Ministerial Fall
The first comic was unfortunate. All he meant to do was kick a ball and stay on his feet but no, the feet failed him and he took a dangerously violent tumble. A video on Youtube shows Uganda's First Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader of Government Business, Moses Ali kicking a football and, in what could be a swift karmic push-back, falling. To get up, the Deputy Prime Minister had to be aided by his security detail and he had a good laugh about it. A month later, we are still laughing in solidarity with you, dear leader!
Drink From Your New MP
Patrick Okumu-Ringa has a dark sense of humour. He is a man who would enjoy watching you die of thirst because you chose someone better equipped to replace him. It is just the sort of sinister comedy with a dash of pettiness that we cannot get over. The man had drilled ten boreholes but had lost successive elections. Who can blame him for getting bitter? People would quench their thirst on his water and go ahead to vote for other people. He had had enough. New Vision reports that Okumu-Ringa said, "Our people are not appreciative. All I wanted from them was votes. I have educated so many children, but all they tell me is I have done nothing." He also said, "I am hurt, but I will reconcile with them. However, for now, let them look for water elsewhere." Maybe they will learn to say thanks now!
Highway Calls Are Better
What is a funny-man list without the King himself? President Museveni decided on one occasion that taking a call while in his car was a bad idea and chose to sit roadside and gift us all with a meme-able moment. Uganda was gracious enough to accept the favour and social media made a challenge in his name. No one has ever explained why a whole president sat roadside in the safari to take the call. Was that the only spot with reception? Who brought the chair anyway? On second thoughts, this was not even that funny, it was just weird. What was funny was the #M7Challenge on social media.
Born 3 years after his birthday
President Museveni managed to tickle us all once more when he was accused of conveniently discovering that he had been baptised in 1947, 3 years after his alleged birthday. There were claims that the President wanted to change his birthday to 1947. This made him eligible to run for elections in 2021 as there was a 75 year age limit. Social media and the opposition picked up on the move and made noise. Little did they know the fox had a couple of tricks left in him. The noise about the birthday was a red herring. Museveni decided to change the law instead. If you are too lazy to change your birthday, change the law and stay President for life. Easy, right? The constitutionality of the amendment was tested in the country's courts and somehow, the judiciary only found the extension of parliamentary tenure from 5 years to 7 to be remiss. Everything else was in order. Typical!
This one is a blast from the past from a legendary comedian cum politician cum underwear and pen thief. Ofwono Opondo, the Executive Director of the Uganda Media Centre allegedly stole underwear and a pen from Garden City Mall back in 2005. Opondo said the story was exaggerated to scandalise him but on taking the matter to the courts, he lost. That is not to say he had definitely stolen but he succeeded in giving us all a good bar to drop whenever he gets too confident.
These politicians clearly have careers waiting for them beyond public office. Hopefully, this reassurance will give them the courage to call it quits and let younger, one track minds take over.
Apart from anti-West speeches and the notorious land grab of the early 2000s, the man has a sense of humor to rival the best in the comedy business.
Header Image: Citizen TV Kenya
This article was adapted from a list compiled by African Curators.