THE hilarious Ugandan comedian Dickson Zzizinga has observed that although the genre has room for further development it’s being hampered by unscrupulous artists who are vulgar, copycats and recycle skits.
“Some comedians in Uganda are vulgar and when sections of the audiences laugh they think they are popular. These artists are going to kill comedy because this form of drama attracts all age groups. So, if one has come with his children vulgarism will leave his family disgusted and will not return,” Zzizinga says.
“When you abuse somebody on stage or expose your private parts - that is not comedy. Instead you are annoying some of your fans who will not return for your subsequent shows. According to our cultures here you cannot mention your private parts in public. Artists have copied this form of style from Y-Tube and cheap DVDs and CDs by Black American comedians,” he adds.
According to Zzizinga there is a lot of copying in the industry especially by the up-coming comedians. “Some keep telling the same jokes or recycle through the year. This kills your audience in the long run. Your fans expect to watch new jokes in every other show that you put up. In other words, these types of comedians are not creative.”
He held a comedy show “The Best of Zzizinga” at the National Theatre in Kampala from January 30 to February 1, 2015. The show covered the best of his skits over the years that included among others Air Johannesburg, Diarrhoea, London Trip, Embarrassing Dad, Haji’s Wives and Fajata from Mecca.
Zzizinga was accompanied by fellow comedians from Fun Factory plus Salvado (Patrick Idringi), Pablo (Kenneth Kimuli), Edwin Mukalazi and musicians.
He says he got encouragement from his fans that wanted him to showcase his own skits. “Some of my fans prefer to watch me as a sole performer.”
Zzizinga also observes that comedy is currently the leading form of entertainment because even theatre companies that mainly staged plays have resorted to comedy. “I think because jokes make people laugh. Comedy kills stress and adds value to your health. When you laugh you feel relieved and your mood is brought to normal.”
The 40-year-old Zzizinga is an actor and performs both stand-up and sketch comedy. “I am good in both but I love sketch comedy more because it does not stress me in terms of building up new jokes. Even then it is not very easy,” he says.
In his description of Zzizinga, fellow comedian Kenneth Kimuli says: “Zzizinga's comedy is refreshing. His routine is clean, polished and extremely hilarious. He will keep a straight face even when the joke is capable of making him laugh.”
The comedian Herbert Ssegujja aka Mendo describes Zzizinga as: “He is a gifted and talented actor and comedian. He is an inspiration to many. He inspired me to join the comedy world when he was still with Theatre Factory. I feel in love with comedy because of him.”
Commenting on Zzizinga’s creativity, Kimuli observes: “New research shows that the best humour is both a little bit wrong and a little bit right and that's what Zzizinga is good at. He has both a good and weird sense of imagination which brings out the comic in him.”
“Zzizinga’s jokes are home baked and hilarious sketches. He focuses on home based humour which in a way makes him different from others. He is a natural comedian. He does not force his acting it comes from within himself,” Segujja says.
Zzizinga, who is married with five children started acting in 1997 with Christopher Mukiibi’s group The Theatricals. He later joined Theater Factory in 2002. In 2009, he together with Richard Tuwagye, Frobisher Lwanga, Veronica Tindichebwa, Veronica Namanda and Hannington Bugingo, among others, left Theatre Factory to form Fun Factory. Fun Factory performs every Thursday at the National Theatre.
While with Theatre Factory he appeared in the television series: Child of a Delegate, They Stopped Eating Fruits and Waiting for My Tractor, among others. He was a presenter on KFM radio from 2012 to 2014.
He appears in the running Fun Factory’s U-Turn series on NTV. He was part of the cast for the popular Hostel television series where he took on the role of Uncle Almer.
Zzizinga is the main act in the running silent television comedy show dubbed Zizu Sketch on NTV directed by Richard Tuwangye. It is about Zizu, who has left his village to live in the capital city and how he adopts modern foods or how to cross the busy streets.
Zzizinga is currently a co-host of the television programme Minibuzz Uganda on Bukedde TV1. Minibuzz Uganda that is owned by Made In Africa Television (South Africa) was previously aired on NTV.
Minibuzz Uganda is an educational and entertaining current affairs programme that prompts national debate by giving spontaneously selected Ugandan commuters, a free ride every morning in a mobile TV station in a minibus to their destination. During their ride, they discuss the topics of the day (Kyogereko). It transports people to their destinations around Kampala and rural regions to share their views with Ugandans nationwide.
Zzizinga attended Kangulumira Nursery School in Kayunga District, Kangulumira Church of Uganda Primary School, St. Ponsiano Primary School, Kampala Secondary School and Pioneer Adult Education Centre for his O Level. He also studied at the Adult Literacy and Basic Education Centre at Makerere University. He sat for his A Level certificate at Nsambya Sharing School.