It was a buffet of comedy and live gospel music at the second edition of the “Seka Live” comedy show at the Kigali Serena Hotel on Sunday night.
The show was returning for its second edition after a successful test run at the same venue in March.
This time, organisers looked to Kampala and Bujumbura for the day’s main acts; Ugandan comedian Teacher Mpamire, and Burundian funny man Kigingi.
Kigingi had last appeared on a local comedy stage in June 2015, when Ugandan comedian Anne Kansiime performed at the Kigali Serena outdoor marquee. In a show of how much his fans had been awaiting his return; he got a mini standing ovation from sections of the crowd when he took to the stage.
Like the previous edition, the show was a colorful mixture of both established and budding comedians. It kicked off at 6:30 pm, with a musical performance by upcoming musician Syntex.
He was followed on stage by a group of five upcoming comedians from Kampala.
Local gospel band Beauty For Ashes once again proved that comedy and gospel music pair well, delivering a cheerful live performance in which they sampled some of the songs off their upcoming album that is slated for release in early July.
Featuring a gospel outfit at the first edition of “Seka Live” in March had been a gamble, but one that paid off well, with the audience unanimously requesting the band to return for the second edition.
After the Beauty For Ashes, it was time to showcase some of the new names on the local comedy scene. George Birungi and Divin each held brief performances before vacating the stage for the more established Babu from the Komedy Knights.
Comedian Arthur Nkusi was the show’s host and the day’s MC, a role that he largely performed from backstage as he would later appear on stage for his own performance after Babu’s.
In the audience was the musical duo of Charly & Nina, who took prominent front row seats with their manager Alex Muyoboke. Indeed, some of the jokes on stage were directed at the duo and their music.
Burundi’s Kigingi proved that he was not just a comedian but a good stage performer when he requested the DJ to play Owoma by Charly and Nina, to which he danced vigorously. The crowd followed suit.
Teacher Mpamire, the night’s main act was performing in Kigali for the first time. Real names Herbert Mendo Ssegujja, the comedian first captured the public’s imagination with his brilliant mimicry of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and indeed, his one hour performance was crowned with a skit mimicking the Ugandan President.
The comedian changed his stage persona to Teacher Mpamire in late 2014 and in the role; he literally marries comedy and education as a class teacher.
Mpamire walked briskly through the stage in a brightly colored chequered suit that was more comical and flamboyant than smart.
He cracked jokes about love, about Ugandan politics, Nigerian movies and, the teacher he is, teased the audience with tongue-twisters and academic jargon.
Occasionally, he would revert to his old persona mimicking the Ugandan president, perhaps to appeal to fans still sentimental about his old stage persona.
Comedy fans got the impression of a lively, intelligent and humorous teacher in whose class one can’t doze off, one that teaches at the top of his voice and gets to interact well with his class for feedback.