Daymakers Edutainment is the newest set of comedians on the local entertainment scene. Founded in August last year, the group currently comprises five members; Emmanuel Mugisha, aka Clapton Kibonge, Florence Sugira, Japhet Mazimpaka, Etienne Iryamukuru, aka 5K Etienne, and Ndayisaba Jean-Marie Vianney, aka Makanika.
Clapton Kibonke is not only the most recognisable face in the group, but also its founder and CEO. Before starting the group, Kibonke worked solo, as a budding actor and comedian. In December last year, the group staged its first comedy show at the Kigali Serena Hotel, and it was a Christian-themed show.
Clapton Kibonke, the founder of the group, entertains revellers during ‘Bigomba Guhinduka’ at Kigali Cultural Village, on April 27. Courtesy.
“After that show I selected some of the new talent like Japhet, Etienne, Makanika and Missed Call,” said Kibonke when he and his colleagues visited The New Times offices on April 30.
Buoyed by the success of that first show, the group staged another show dubbed, Bigomba guhinduka, featuring Etienne and Japhet on April 27, at Kigali Cultural Village.
Kibonke said that he embarked on comedy in 2015, before he gradually took up acting as well. However, he still sees himself as more of an actor than comedian.
“As a group we focus more on acting than standup comedy,” he notes. He has featured in a handful of local films, in which he plays comic roles. He is also a regular fixture on local television, acting in several local TV series, beginning with Agacube Barbershop on TV10, Byadogereye and Seburikoko on RTV, Gakwege on Zacu online TV, Manyanga on Youtube, and Virunga High School.
“I have been a comedian since childhood but not as a career. I have always made people laugh. In Sunday school as a little boy, I acted as Isaac the son of Abraham in the school choir.
His first acting contract was with Agacube Barber Shop on TV10.
“They gave me Rwf100,000 to act two times in a month, yet I was being paid Rwf80,000 per month as a shop attendant. I saw that I can have Rwf100, 000 then sleep for 28 days,” he remarked cheekily.
Florence Sugira is the only female member of the group, having embarked on her acting career late last year. The third born in a family of six girls, Sugira had acted before, as a child, but had never considered it for a career.
“All of us in the group are members of the actors’ union. I was a friend to Clapton and he must have seen some potential in me, and asked me to be part of them.” Apart from acting, she is also the group’s Secretary. Currently she juggles these roles with a procurement job at a furniture mart, and her studies at the University of Tourism and Business (UTB).
“She is more of an actress than comedian in Day Makers. She acts in every scene in which we need a girl,” Kibonke noted.
Sugira started off with writing amateur film scripts in 2012.
“I didn’t have enough knowledge about it, but I could really write stories that someone could relate to. My own parents took me to Silver Film Production and told them what I could do and the stories I’d been writing. I got the first encouragement from them but I was still young. It’s something I had in me, that’s why they can’t discourage me from doing it.”
Japhet Mazimpaka, aka Akana Kimana, not only acts in the group, but is also in charge of content development. Currently, a student of Mass Media and Communication at Mount Kenya University, he left his home town of Kayonza to pursue his A-Level studies at College St. Andre in Nyamirambo, from where his flair for making people laugh started to show.
“I look forward to getting more known not only in Rwanda but worldwide, because what we do is viewed and appreciated by people from different parts of the world.”
Etienne Iryamukuru has one of the more eccentric stage names in the group -5K Etienne. Asked what the stage name stood for, Kibonke chipped in on his behalf, said.
“That’s the name I used to call him because he used to ask for Rwf5,000 every time we met.” Currently studying Electrical Technology at ULK, Etienne started doing TV comedy right after completing high school, and has never looked back. He has acted in local TV series like, Virunga School, Sakabaka, and City Maid.
The group has a popular Youtube channel, Daymakers 250, on which it posts all their comedy skits.
“That’s where people see us then we organise a show to present what we do on social media,” Kibonke said.