William Niyitegeka reveals why it is easy to mimic people

Chita at The New Times offices. Faustin Niyigena.

22-year old Jules William Niyitegeka, commonly known as Julius Chita, is a comedian who is famous for imitating people, especially celebrities.

While he says this talent developed naturally, he has become good at what he does and is now regarded as one of the most popular comedians in the country.

Besides comedy, the Rulindo-born comedian is also a Journalist who also does MCing and wants to pursue a career in Acting.

He talked to Sunday Magazine’s Eddie Nsabimana on his journey to becoming a popular comedian and how unique his comedy style is.

How and when did you start your career as a comedian and what inspired you to do so?

I started imitating people when I was in Primary School in 2005 to make my friends laugh. My friends were fascinated by it and would beg me to imitate many people that included our teachers.

In 2013, I started thinking of how I can explore and develop it into it a unique style of comedy.

People started to know me in 2014 when I won a competition through ‘Special Vacance’, a radio talk show that airs on Radio Isango Star during holidays, bringing together students to showcase their talents.

Since then, different radio and TV presenters invited me for interviews and asked me to imitate different celebrities which excited many people. But I wanted more exposure which led me to approach producer Clement Ishimwe of Kina Music and because he liked my talent, he gave me a chance to perform during Tom Close’s ‘Ndakubona’ Album Launch in 2014.

Jules William Niyitegeka aka Julius Chita performs in a recent comedy show. Courtesy photo. 

How can you describe your comedy style?

I can perform different skits of comedy but the majority of my fans know me as a comedian who specialises in mimicking people. I can for instance hold an interview on behalf of a popular presenter and do it as if I am the real one.

How different/ unique is your comedy style from others?

My talent is unique because very few people have this kind of talent. It is not something you can teach someone because it is a natural talent which I did not learn elsewhere.

Do you need rehearsals before going on stage?

The only thing I do before a performance is to arrange the content that I want to perform.

People are excited to see you imitating celebrities. How do you manage to imitate so many people?

Imitating people is not something I force. It is all about listening to what a celebrity says during interviews for instance and I modify it into a joke.

Who are some of the celebrities that you can imitate?

So far, I can imitate about 50 local celebrities but some of them, I am very good at imitating. The one who I find so easy to  imitate is singer Meddy.

I can also imitate The Ben, Uncle Austine, Nizzo Muhammed from Urban Boys and Bull Dogg.

Others are radio popular journalists like RTV news anchor Bienvenue Redemptus, presenters like Rutamu Elie Joe (former Radio One sports commentator), Jean Butoyi and Theoneste Nisingizwe of Rwanda Broadcasting Agency.

Former Trade and Industries Minister Francois Kanimba is also among people I can easily imitate.

What are the biggest events that you have performed at?

I can say that Seka Fest and Dream Boys’ album launch ‘Nzibukan’Abandi’ (2015) are the biggest events I have performed at so far.

How much do you earn from comedy?

I can earn anywhere between Rwf80,000 to Rwf400,000 per show.

What is your take on Rwanda’s comedy industry?

Rwanda’s comedy industry is on the right track given a growing number of talents rising through it.

Many comedy shows are organized and new talents are being detectedtime after time thanks to the creative performance they show whenever they get a chance to entertaining the audience. I can see the future of comedy is bright.