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By Our Reporter
Uganda’s comedians have officially launched a national uniting body dubbed, The Uganda Comedians Association (TUCA).
TUCA aims to elevate comedy to a recognized art form in Uganda while also fostering positive relations with in the industry. It further seeks to professionalize the comedy industry and also secure improved working conditions and other economic advantages for comedians through memberships and collective bargaining.
Speaking to media during the official launch of the association on Wednesday, Hannington Bugingo, the association’s interim President revealed that TUCA was born out of the need to offer support to fellow comedians in times of need.
He explained that deliberations about forming the association started following widespread backlash when fellow comedian King Kong passed away in June 2018 and was not given a proper send off by fellow comedians.
“It is then that we decided to create a unifying body for all comedians to address our challenges and other issues affecting the industry,” Hannington Bugingo added. “We held different meetings where comedians raised their concerns which were used to form the basis for the association.”
The association was officially registered on 16th January 2019, and has for one year been laying ground work in preparation for its launch.
“In the one year, we have been mobilizing resources, networking and finding a way to work together amicably.” He further noted. “We are now rolling out officially, and will be enrolling more comedians and holding workshops across the country.”
While membership is open to all comedians across the country, individuals are required to pay an annual subscription fee of Ugx 100,000/=. The association so far over 30 members who are fully registered.
The interim committee includes: Hannington Bugingo (President), Patrick Salvado Idringi (Vice President), Agnes Akite (Secretary), Timothy Nyanzi (Finance), Ehmah Napoleon (Spokesperson), and Abby Mukiibi (Patron).
Different comedians have expressed excitement and optimism about the future of Uganda’s comedy with the formation an association to help streamline the industry.
Patriko Mujuuka, a veteran comedian had this to say: “We have had a problem with vulgarity in the industry. It is good that we now have a team that can censor what content is being delivered on stage.”
Alex Muhangi, the Comedy Store Uganda Director also said, “the association will help us build the industry by creating platforms where emerging comedians can nurture their talent and grow into big stars.”
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