For the July Nsenko Buseko Live show, it was a different setting and rich menu for the revellers who flocked Imperial Royale hotel last Friday.
The lower section of the Primrose hall was full. The show opened at 7:45pm with Alex Muhangi who was the host, cracking jokes about Ugandan musicians who do not have romantic songs compared to Nigerians, Tanzanians, Kenyans and Rwandans.
Mad Rat and Chico emerged from the audience in boxing attire, with Mad Rat in red and Chico in blue. Simulating a boxing match, the lightweight Mad Rat hilariously knocked out Chico, who was lifted out of the ring.
The duo had three sessions, treating fans to a two-hour- long rib-cracking performance. The show, dubbed Nseko Buseko, Luganda for ‘just for laughs’ also featured Janzi band.
Afande Kerekere, also a comedian, who was present, said the show was good right from the lighting to stage setup, adding that Mad Rat and Chico gave their fans what was expected of them.
“They have been more organised compared to last year. I think they did some research and came up with a skit, which made the show good. They did not repeat last year’s jokes,” he said.
Daisy Natukunda, a reveller, said the show ended too soon because she was still having fun.
Who are Chico and Mad Rat?
Five years ago, performing to a small group at a local bar in Mukono, this duo started a comedy journey, rising to stardom and earning their first gig at Waikiki bar in 2015.
Mad Rat’s real name is Dickson Lubega, born 31 years ago to the late Moses Ssebyala and Irene Ssebyala in Masaka.
“I attended St Kizito Junior School in Mukono and then joined Africana Whiteland College in Mukono now called Seroma Christian High School. I did not continue after S4,” he said.
Chico, real name Frank Mubiru, is 29 years old and was also born in Masaka, to Badru Mubiru and Sarah Nakyegye. He went to New African Child in Makindye, Nabuti primary school in Mukono and Fairland High School Mukono for O-Level and Progressive High School in Mukono for A-level.
“I did not attend university,” he said.
How they met
Mad Rat: We are longtime friends. We met at Zero-one Bar in Zzana where we both happened to perform and we have been friends since although we only get closer during the performances,” he said.
When did you start comedy?
Chico: I did not know I was a comedian when I started because I did not see it in me. I was a drama actor in some group in Mukono for close to four years before a radio job came calling in 2009.
I then joined Dunamis FM in Mukono and it was while on radio that I was told people laughed a lot when I was on air. I also worked at Top Radio for a few years before I decided to try out comedy.
Mad Rat: After S4, I joined Epic Mobile Sounds as their official DJ and I learnt how to be an events MC. I partnered a friend called Baby X with whom we hosted events and, with time, we were joined by another friend to form Malibu Comedians, inspired by Amarula Family.
We used to do our comedy at Satellite beach in Mukono, Total Pub (Seeta), Pride Pub Bweyogerere, and Zero-one bar in Zzana, among other places.
And as a duo?
Mad Rat: The beginning was tricky because we were tired of only being based in Mukono. One day we decided to take a taxi to Kampala.
Our motive was to perform at Theatre La Bonita. We used to watch a show on TV called ‘Haha’ and we wanted to be part of it.
Chico: However, unlike last year, we feel we have come of age and need a bigger and classier venue and we settled for Imperial Royale hotel.