Comedy was in its infancy in Uganda, struggling to be accepted as an alternative to other arts in the entertainment industry, until 2009 when MultiChoice organized the first-ever stand-up comedy competition in Kampala.
Aired on Mnet, the highly billed show attracted at least 100 participants for the audition from which only 20 were selected for the final competition.
The winner, Kenneth Kimuli aka Pablo, walked away with $10,000 (approximately Shs 36 million) and earned the bragging rights as Uganda’s king of comedy.
He also cemented this status by providing a high-quality comedy show – Pablo Live – with a dependable, hardworking crew and a bubbly audience out to flex its funny bones at the National theatre.
Since then, Ugandans have embraced comedy as one of their preferred entertainment genres. Local stand-up comedy has become so popular that theatres are now registering more bookings for comedy shows than mainstream stage plays for which they have traditionally been known.
Pablo is a comedian who broke onto the comedy scene in 2003. His biggest strength for the last 14 years is his ability to diversify his performances – from being a stand-up comic to working on radio, as a master of ceremonies and as part of collaborations.
His role as Uganda’s premier stand-up comedian was long established. What he has reinforced over the last five years is his impact on a regional level, with performances on the international scene such as Canada, USA, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Sudan and Rwanda, among others.
He maintains a reasonably strong social media following on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. This has helped strengthen his international profile with some additional training and appearances at the Lincoln Centre theatre, New York and Sundance Theatre Lab in Salt Lake City, Utah USA.
PABLO LIVE RELOADED 2017
Pablo Live show had taken a deliberate break in December 2016, after running for eight years nonstop, to revamp and rebrand.
Most important was to construct Tangaza Arts centre – a training space for people interested in public speaking, comedy, music, art and crafts, among others – at Muganzi Awongererwa, Makerere, famously known as Kikumi Kikumi.
Pablo Live now seeks to take this success a notch higher by graduating from a monthly to a weekly comedy show.
The show will offer a platform to those interested in having a career in comedy, interviews with people in public interest, extraordinary art, acrobatics, humour and satire of the weekly news roundup.
This will arguably be the first-ever weekly stand-up comedy show that brings the audience to speak about current affairs in a lighter way, promoting corporate social responsibility events and tailoring humour to meet the audience’s interests.
The show will have a cocktail of entertainment since it doubles as a platform to showcase the works of Tangaza Arts center prodigies. Pablo Live show will be happening every Tuesday at the National theatre in the refurbished auditorium that gives a corporate feel, starting on November 14, 2017.
The show starts at 8pm at Shs 20,000.