They are seven members in the group and they are taking the comedy industry by storm. Emmanuel Mugisha, aka Clapton Kibonge, Japhet Mazimpaka, Divine Ishimwe Munyana, and Etienne Iryamukuru are some of the members of Daymakers Edutainment.
Each one of them possesses a unique sense of humor. Their rise to fame was mostly a result of their short clips that circulated on social media. These videos centered on the theme ‘Bigomba guhinduka’, loosely translated as ‘things have to change’, and because of their comical and educative touch, they were massively hailed by the public.
It is no wonder when the group organized their first show last year at Kigali Serena Hotel, the venue was filled to capacity.
Daymakers Edutainment has come with a completely different touch to comedy, their style is differently original.
Mugisha, the founder, and face of the group says he came up with the initiative mostly to help groom more talent in comedy, and also grow the comedy industry in general.
“I got a lot of messages on social media from people requesting me to help them build their talent after they watched my videos. They wanted to collaborate with me so I had to reach out to them; I wanted to help in growing young talent. I know that rising alone, or someone else rising alone, would slow the growth of the industry, we need to work together, that’s why I chose to start Daymakers,” he says.
Mugisha says comedy means life to him, this is why he decided to make it his sole career. And his daily life serves as the source and inspiration behind his comedy.
When he is on stage performing, Mugisha says he somehow becomes overcome with this other personality of an amusing and fascinating person, for all he wants is to make his fans happy.
“Normally I am a calm person, it’s not easy for one to think that I am funny, but when I am on stage I change. But it is all because I want to deliver and when they appreciate what I prepare for them when they laugh and tell me they like what I do, it makes me feel content and I know that I am on the right path,” he says.
Daymakers believe that supporting young talent will help the comedy industry to grow. / Courtesy
He is proud of how the comedy industry is transforming, noting that there are so many upcoming comedians, so many shows being organized, yet these used to be very few in the past.
There is the second edition of ‘bigomba guhinduka’ which is happening this weekend, yet ‘Seka Live’ and ‘Comedy Festival’ are approaching as well.
For this industry to keep growing, Mugisha is of the view that the first thing is to support young talent and for comedians to work together.
“But also discipline and originality are very important,” he says.
Divine Ishimwe Munyana is the only female of the group. She has always wanted to be part of this industry and when she decided to join, the support she got was so overwhelming that it encouraged her to actually chase this dream.
On most occasions, her performances have had a warm reception, but Munyana says this doesn’t take away the tension that comes with being new in such a field.
Nevertheless, her passion has withstood the challenges she has faced so far. She recalls a time she was performing at ‘Seka Live’ last year, the audience had over 3000 people.
“I was nervous but deep down I knew I had it, and when they liked my first joke, I delivered the second and carried on.”
When on stage, Mugisha takes on the personality of an amusing and fascinating person. / Net
She says that what makes this field a complex one is that different people have different things that make them happy, so the challenge comes to finding that one thing that all of them can relate to.
And also, consistency in making the audience laugh is another test, she says.
“There is a time you make them laugh so hard and you get worried about the next joke. It happened to me once, I made the audience laugh so hard that I got scared to continue, I was afraid the next one wouldn’t be that funny. Our seniors in this field advise to always leave the stage with the funniest joke such that you leave the audience yearning for more.”
She looks up to Eric Omondi from Kenya among other comedians.
Munyana believes the comedy industry has a very promising future and she is proud of the fact that people have been supportive.
“The public is impressed with what we do but I think we need to do more, let the government, the Ministry of Sports and Culture, in particular, put in more effort to develop this industry.
“I really thank the comedians who have been in this industry for long, they are really helping us and we are looking up to them to make it in this career,” she adds.
Laugh and learn
Etienne Iryamukuru, aka 5k Etienne, explains that their work as comedians is to have their audience laugh and at the same time learn something.
He observes that most of the things that are funny are bad things, for example, laughing at someone’s physical appearance, race, “yes this can be done in a funny way but it is not good and there is no lesson in it. We want to do this differently, we want to make people laugh but also learn from our message.”
Iryamukuru says their group aims at making educative jokes. / Net
Iryamukuru says that so far, they have had a lot of positive feedback and support from fans, for example, their first edition of ‘bigomba guhinduka’ was attended by a lot of people.
And he commends this support saying that it is one of the reasons that the comedy industry is really growing.
“This is impressive because when we started, you could see it was hard, we were very few but we are now growing and there are now different groups of comedy. Rwandans have been supportive and if you manage to get support from home, then it’s easy to grow and expand to other countries as well,” the comedian says.
Having been raised in a family of people with careers in medicine, Iryamukuru thought this was going to be his path as well.
But when he completed high school, he found himself presenting a show at the then Lemigo TV, something that spurred him into the comedy realm.
He later teamed up with Mugisha in 2015 and they have been working together ever since.
He also believes that for comedians to take this industry to a higher level, they need to work together because if they do not collaborate, it will be hard for fans to support them.
He also says that there is a need for a lot of hard work to encourage more talent.
“We need to have something to show for our efforts, such that others who want to join the industry are encouraged to and have people to look up to,” Iryamukuru adds.
WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THE COMEDY INDUSTRY?
I personally think that Rwandan society is yet to appreciate the arts, and comedy is no exception. Rwandan comedy is underrated, unappreciated and undervalued. Our boys in the comedy industry put in so much work but it’s uncommon for them to have the same support that external comedians get when they come into the country.
I believe that if arts in Rwanda received more support, they would thrive. On the other hand, I’ve always wondered why we have a few female comedians yet. Should we assume Rwandan women have no humor to offer?
Stella Tushabe, Artiste
This industry needs to be more serious, comedians need to work together and strive to be unique for us to differentiate them. For example, when one talks about comedy night, you might think it comprises all comedians, which isn't the case. Just like there are associations for the movie and music industry, there should be one for comedy as well.
Patrick Rukundo, Social media influencer
It could be that I am not well informed but comedy in Rwanda is still on the low, I think the industry should put in more energy. That is to say; more shows are needed and should be advertised. Shows are still few; they should pull up their socks.
Chantal Uwera Ndoli, Businesswoman
I think it’s a long way to go for its full development due to three factors; one, comedians have not taken time to analyze their market niche, that is, which comedy act can thrive better and to which audience. Two, comedians have not tried to utilize innovativeness, such as exploiting the nightlife scene to spread their acts, which could build their fan base and also their acts. Three, the way audiences interpret an act in Rwanda could be a fear factor for some and this limits the script.
But I am impressed with the hard work put in the industry regardless of the public not responding well to support. We need to support our own arts industry.
Alexi Mbishimbishi, Baldwin’s events