Mpamire’s Malawi moments

Top Ugandan comedian Herbert Ssegujja, popularly known by his stage name Teacher Mpamire, was in the country for three shows in Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre.

The comedian started his countrywide tour on Friday evening in the country’s northern city with an impressive performance at the Sunbird Mzuzu Hotel. On Saturday he performed at Lilongwe Hotel.

In full flight: Mpamire (Standing) during the Lilongwe show

During both shows, it was evident that the Ugandan took his time to study and appreciate the country’s prevailing political developments as he had a field day joking about the apparent political stalemate that has followed the May 21 polls.

When organisers of the shows, Qoncept Creative, decided to bring the comedian to Mzuzu for the first time, it was almost a gamble as the city is unpredictable when it comes to entertainment events.

Offered her own dosage of laughter: Nya Uyu

But on Friday night, comedy lovers challenged the long-standing stereotypes about the city, defied the biting cold weather and turned out in large numbers to witness a first for the green city.

Teacher Mpamire was in town and he was not alone. Accompanied by Malawian musicians Patience Namadingo, Faith Mussa and local comedy queen Nya Uyu, the night promised nothing but laughter and fun.

The Ugandan comedian interacts with one of the patrons

Mpamire was lively and left the audience in stitches throughout the performance which lasted for about an hour.

Mimicking a teacher in a classroom, with the audience as his students, he centred his jokes on issues such as religion, love, politics, governance, human rights, corruption, education and the arts.

His jokes subtly advocated for the welfare of teachers in which he argued that, until government raises teachers’ salaries, he will continue to confuse his students.

He joked: “They say behind every successful man there is a woman. But as Teacher Mpamire, I say besides every successful man there is a woman. That means man equals woman. So, if besides every successful man there is a woman, it means the more the success, the more the women. And the more the women, the more the success.”

Mpamire had the audience in stitches of laughter when he made fun of the current political impasse in particular the nationwide demonstrations held on Thursday.

“I heard that Malawians were demonstrating against the elections. And now a commander is commanding a police officer to shoot the protesters, but instead of obeying the order, he joins the demonstrators. This is because we are living in a confused world of Tippex,” he said. 

Tippex is a correctional fluid that was used to alter results sheets in the May 21 tripartite election results.

He added: “Tippex is confusing Malawians and Malawians are confusing Tippex. But the question is ‘What went wrong?’”

Mpamire said with the way Tippex has become famous in Malawi, women may end up using it as makeup.

On Saturday, the biting cold night in Lilongwe did nothing to deter comedy lovers from trekking to Sunbird Capital for a night of laughter with the Ugandan.

Enigmatic radio character, Nancy, also popularly known as Ex Wa Che Nkope, captured the audience with “A Malawi anzanga, pali funso? Ine madando onse ndapachika.”

This was a direct reference to some of the mantras borne out of the just-ended elections in Malawi. While it seemed a bit awkward for the fans to just enjoy the voice when the speaker was not seen on stage, some of the fans enjoyed the moment.

When Mpamire got on stage in his trademark bright coloured, funny outfits, he surprised many by introducing himself in Chichewa. “Dzina langa ndine Mphunzitsi Mpamire,” he said, sending the audience into fists of laughter.

“I bring you greetings from President Museveni. The only African president who has 240 advisers, some of whom he doesn’t know and when he meets them, he is the one advising them,” he quipped.

Politics was his main dish on the menu on the night as he moved to focus on Malawi.

“Is Peter Mutharika the President? We don’t know but still for us we have Yoweri Museveni, one of the longest serving leaders in Africa. When you people had Kamuzu Banda, we still had Museveni,” he jested.

“Before we start the class, may I please see the following? Where is Jane Ansah? She doesn’t want to answer? I will punish her. Where is Form 1 student Chakwera? Or is he demonstrating? Is Tippex around or still Tippexing?” he joked.

He moved on to relationships, blaming single women for being unmarried because of what they do.

“Any single women here?” he asked before hitting hard with “you are single because when praying, you are not specific. You ask God for a man with security, God will give you a security guard.”

In an interview after the Mzuzu show, Qoncept Creative co-founder Qabaniso Malewezi expressed satisfaction with the patronage, saying this has encouraged them to hold more shows in the city in future.

“We are very excited, as Qoncept Creative, to do a show in Mzuzu for the very first time. It’s something we definitely had to do. For every show we did in other cities, people were writing us ‘why not in Mzuzu?’ This time around we just had to make it happen,” he said.

The Ugandan comedian finished his comedy tour with a show at Sunbird Mount Soche last night in Blantyre. In all the three shows, Mpamire was supported by Nya Uyu, Faith and Namadingo who also gave a good account of themselves.

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