Popularly known as Arach in the hit NTV series, The Hostel, AGNES AKITE OPIO ventured into comedy, two years ago.
She is one of the faces of Comedy files and an all-girl comedy group, Queens of Comedy. Last Wednesday, Quick Talk was at Theatre La Bonita where she met the 33-year-old actress/comedian. Akite is a happy soul. She laughs a lot and hates being referred to as a celeb.
Nice hair! Where did you do that from? [She is sporting very short baby locks]
I do it myself. I roll it with a bathing sponge. I feel so free with this hairstyle and I have never been to a salon since I cut my long hair. I only go to a barber shop to trim it every once in a while.
If I checked your bag, what would I find, Agnes?
My toilette bag, which has my makeup. It never leaves my bag! And of course my wallet and phone. Oh, I am addicted to my phone. Ask anyone. They will tell you without my phone, I can feel like my life has ended. When they switched off social media during elections, man I suffered! [You were not alone…]
And what do you look out for when buying a phone?
The funny thing is, it is my husband [Brian Makalama, former Uganda Rugby Cranes pro-turned-coach] who chooses my phones. I have never really bought a phone.
You know he was once a manager at Orange and he dealt a lot with smart phones; so, he understands them better than me. Even this one, he is the one who gave it to me. It is an HTC M8 oba 1M8…
And what is the last thing you bought yourself?
[Smiling] This thing [holds out a Marian medal hanging from a shiny silver chain on her neck] I bought it from Bukalango yesterday.
Bukalango! Which church do you go to?
Our Lady of Africa, Mbuya. That is the church I have gone to since I was a child. I even got baptized there and I also took all my sacraments there. You know there is a Catholic church near my home in Kiwatule but I prefer to go all the way to Mbuya, because of the attachment I have to it.
What is your take on having children before wedding in church?
Personally, I don’t mind it. It is fornication, but you can repent and then get married when you are ready. That is why we have priests.
Kyokka Agnes! That’s why we have priests, I hear. Where were you born?
I was born and raised in Nakawa Quarters – now ‘the late’ Nakawa quarters [the housing estate that were demolished to make way for an investor]. I am the fifth of nine children.
Big family! What kind of childhood was yours?
I grew up surrounded by very stubborn people. My parents were very stubborn. Surprisingly, I was a quiet child and throughout school, I always kept a low profile. My friends were even surprised to see me act, let alone becoming a comedian.
I went to St Kizito primary school, Bugolobi, Our Lady of Good Counsel Gayaza, before sitting my O-level at Naalya SS Namugongo. I thereafter joined the Creamland campus of St Lawrence for A-level before pursuing a degree in Tourism. By the way, I am a bright girl. I was supposed to graduate with a first class degree but I ended up with a second class upper degree… [oh, trust Quick Talk, dear; we were all supposed to get a first class degrees, naye maama…]
Ok. Let’s talk food…
I love dried fish in binyebwa [groundnuts] with matooke and rice. I also like yams, although they are rare yet I like to buy the cooked ones.
You look younger than 33. What is your secret?
Hahaha… My secret is laughing. I love laughing, dancing and drinking alcohol [breaks into a fit of laughter.]
Hmmm…and what is your favourite brand?
Alcohol! [Quick Talk, thinking Agnes did not understand the question, asks for her favourite brand again] Wa! … Anything as long as it is alcohol [laughing heartily again]. I am not a drunkard, I only appreciate beer.
You and Daniel Omara had chemistry in The Hostel…
Hahaha… in fact when I was pregnant, people thought it was his baby but my husband knew he had nothing to worry about. He is a mature man. He is not like these bu young boys who get jealous fwaaa.
Would you rate yourself as a romantic type?
Our version of romance is a weird one. These things, I hear get-aways, we have never done them. For us, we prefer to go dancing paka morning [they have been married for almost six years.]
What could be the deal breaker in this obviously-fun marriage?
Infidelity. Telling lies is one thing but when I find you sharing my things. Ayayaya! [Shaking her head bitterly] Even if I gave you a second chance, things could never be the way they were.
Agnes, what inspires your jokes?
Everyday life. That is why I like going out a lot. And of course being a mother, my kids are a source of so many jokes.
Such a jolly person… What makes you cry?
Someone who raises his or her voice at me. Eh, you would rather cane me than shout at me.
The craziest thing you have ever done is…
One night, when I was about six months pregnant, after a fun night out with my husband, the gate padlock just refused to open. My husband lifted me up and I jumped into the compound and opened the gate from inside since he couldn’t do it [if you have met her heavyset husband, you do understand why he could not jump over and why she could not push him over the wall either!] I just wonder what could have happened if I had landed on my stomach! [Or if a keen askari had thought you were a potbellied thief and shot!]
By the way, I partied with that pregnancy until two weeks to the day I gave birth.
You are brave. Do you fear anything?
I fear cows. [Looking embarrassed] I was even almost run over by a car while trying to flee from a cow.
Strange! Anyway, is there a politician you just want to pinch?
[State minister for Ethics and Integrity Simon] Lokodo, Lokodo, Lokodo [speaking avidly] Lokodo should leave us alone. He thinks he fell from heaven. That guy needs serious counselling.
Hahaha Quick Talk is thoroughly entertained, but other members of Comedy files start trickling in and Quick Talk leaves Agnes to get ready for that night’s show!