As the Covid aftershocks continue to pinch the entertainment industry, the issue of the government stimulus funds to the sector continues to spark controversy among artistes, the latest to voice his concerns being Alex Muhangi.
The Comedy Store Uganda proprietor is bitter that his business which has been a source of livelihood for many people – comedians, musicians and hundreds of service providers – has not been considered for the stimulus funds.
On Thursday, Muhangi posted on Facebook expressing anger that some people who claim to be events promoters shared the funds amounting to Shs 6.5bn amongst themselves. He did not mention names of who these people are.
“We hear a small section of people got this money (Shs 6.5bn) and shared it amongst themselves. Who are these people? None of the so-called Promoters who decide for us has a weekly nor a monthly event,” Muhangi’s post read.
He argued that Comedy Store as a business should have benefitted from the stimulus package since it was a source of livelihood for not only artists (comedians & musicians) but also other service providers, who were guaranteed income every week.
“The platform suffered losses from a cancelled upcountry tour which was due to begin when Covid struck. We had already spent significantly on marketing. All the requisite paperwork to support this was handed in to the authorities last year…. The show also incurred financial loss as we had booked artists from Wasafi (TZ) that were slated to perform in July of 2020,” Muhangi adds.
In addition, he pointed out the losses that his show and performers endured due to the travel restrictions brought about by Covid. Every year, Muhangi hosts the UNAA Convention in the U.S. as well as the UK Convention in the UK. Usually, it’s Comedy Store that books the comedians and musicians that perform on these shows.
Muhangi who has been running Comedy Store for 5 years says “as a business, we remit to URA monthly returns and there is evidence to back this up” and that this should qualify his business for the stimulus.
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