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Media a necessary evil, says Kansiime

UGANDAN comedian Anne Kansiime says more women should bravely step forward and join the comedy industry and “keep me company”.

And Kansiime says the media is “a necessary evil” that should not relent in exposing up-coming comedians.

Speaking at a media conference at Best Western Plus Hotel in Lusaka on Thursday, Kansiime called on women to consider becoming comedians, regardless of the hurdles in the profession.

The sidesplitting Kansiime was in Lusaka for the Laughter in the City comedy show which took place at Mulungushi International Conference Centre yesterday.

“I truly say that we want more women in this industry. Please, come and give me company – it’s lonely out here! And it’s not easy; if you know you are a quitter, stay there. Just come when you know it’s going to be hard; the first month you won’t be funny at all [and] people won’t even know what you are doing. Second month they would think you are about to quit but they will see you still insisting, third month they will throw things at you, fourth month, maybe you won’t be able to pay your rent because your comedy won’t be able to, fifth month…You will suffer!” Kansiime said.

“I have been in this business for a very long time but I think you got to know about me five or six years ago. It’s not easy and you really need to work. Please, stop saying it’s difficult, that’s why you are not joining. Yes, it’s difficult [but] even accounts is difficult – when you make a shortage you will go home empty-handed, engineering is difficult – you do a road and before [long] there are potholes. Don’t quit because it’s hard.”

She also said creativity in the field of comedy came with wide research.

And Kansiime prodded journalists to support local comedians, like they do to international ones.

“I pray that this same support you are giving me when I come here you still give it to your comedy industry because that will truly raise the flag of Zambia. We need you (journalists) by the way – we hate you guys but we need and love you so much. Seriously, the pressman, you love them as much as you hate them because when they don’t talk about you, then you are no more. When they decide to focus on you, you want to hide under the bed!” she mesmerised the audience.

“Just the way you go and talk to a celebrity and find out information you shouldn’t find, please go and talk to those up-coming comedians and give the public information that will prompt [people] to love them.”

Kansiime told journalists that instead of writing “the same usual musicians, please put a story of a struggling stand-up comedian.”

“Just write about them! As a struggling artist, you would rather be in the papers for having tripped and fallen on stage than performing and at the end of the day one writes about your show. You would rather fall and make a headline…So, I said we hate you but we love you – you are a necessary evil. If you reported about me when I was a nobody, chances are that you will be in charge of all my exclusive interviews in future when I’m somebody. So, we need you,” said Kansiime.

“It’s my fifth time to come here and when I say it’s home, I don’t know how anyone will doubt it. So, Zambia is my home partly because you’ve loved me and it’s not my fault that I have to love you back. So, I’m here to make you laugh tomorrow (today).”

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