Saturday February 1 2014

Everything is funny until you ask for her age

Tindi during her radio show. File Photo

Tindi during her radio show. File Photo 

By Ivan Okuda

You are all looking tired and haggard, what’s up?
Do I really look tired? I guess it comes with age.

How old are you by the way?
Eh eh eh! If you ever want to stay friends with someone, especially me, never ask about my age. Please don’t.

But you look young…
Really? I look young? Thanks to the heavens, God loves me.
And you don’t look as old as you sound
I know! That is actually very amazing. There was a time I was having a show here and one minister drove so fast just to have a glimpse at Tindi. After my show, he asked, “Are you the Tindi? Oh my God, you sound like this old Nigerian woman!” I know I have my base and I have a very beautiful and unique voice.

Beautiful, unique ? Some people may not agree.
That’s theirs to judge, if I don’t blow my own trumpet, who will?
So tell me about Tindi, actually some of us wonder what your real name is
Tindi is my real name; it is just a short form of the name Tindichebwa. I am a Zinza from Tanzania, Mwanza. I have an ear for languages, the reason I speak about seven languages. When I came to Uganda with my stepfather, who is White, we stayed in Pakwach and that is how I learnt Alur. I picked the Runyakore from school. I was born in Tanzania, raised by a stepfather in Norway and I’m now living in Uganda. We came here when I was 10 years old.

When and where did you meet Mr Comedy?
I went to Namasagali College where I found great guys like David Ntaro with passion for the arts. I was to later find them again at the National Theatre with Kwezi Kaganda, who was my teacher, he was good at drama and he told me to give comedy a try. I watched the first night and was impressed. They asked me to join, and the next week I took part and boy did the crowd love me. This was in 2005.

So you have been doing comedy since 2005?
Yes, but don’t calculate my age. I was always acting the part of the Indian lady because I am good with accents as well as the little child or typical Mukiga girl. It is amazing how I can pull off these roles with this hoarse voice. It’s challenging but I had them all done convincingly but not perfectly because you can’t be perfect.

What did you study?
I did Tours and Travel at Conrad Plaza. I didn’t have the chance to go to these rioting or “benching” campuses; my dad had heard so many stories about them.
When was this?
(Winks and giggles) You are back tracking to find my age. Go to Conrad Plaza and find out when I was there.

And the specific school?
I won’t tell you so that you go and ask for my age!

What was your worst moment on stage?

In Mbarara in 2007, we were doing a skit that involved me sleeping with my husband. All of a sudden, these Banyankore men in the audience started hurling silly words and touching my body parts that I was not comfortable with like the bums, hips. It was truly embarrassing.

What is the silliest joke you have cracked? Dude, I have cracked so many jokes that I can’t point a finger at any. I find every joke silly. They are so many from 2005 till today, unless I go through all my DVDs.

Would you give yourself a seat at the table of accomplished comedians?

Yes I would proudly say I am an accomplished comedian. You know you start from scratch, break ground, gain confidence and venture into teaching and sharing with other people. You never expire, but actually learn to improve what you have. I have reached a point where I can do stage and stand-up comedy with confidence. I have achieved, man!

Some people don’t find you funny?
Ivan, in life you can’t impress everybody, can you?

So, when and why did you come to radio?
I joined radio two years ago around October. I was talent searched by the former head of radio at K-fm. I chose to give it a shot, I mean why not? Who knows what will come out of it? I had never done radio before in my life.

Were you trained?
Of course I had to be trained for about three months to have a better appreciation of the radio system.

How was your first day on air?
My first day on air was at Sheraton Hotel when K-fm was re-branding. I was with Roger (Mugisha) and Chris Obore. I was really nervous.

What is the first word you said?
First word? Dude! I can’t recollect but I think it was about my name, and yes, I remember praising Gerald Karuhanga (Eastern youth MP) for his good looks.

You actually have a crush on Gerald?
I don’t have a crush on politicians, no matter how handsome they are.

So who do you get crushes on?
I am a happily married woman, so, I don’t have a crush on you or anybody else.

Hey, you are actually married? Since when?
No! I am not going to tell you, leave me alone. Just know I am happily married to a Ugandan with two lovely girls, my third one passed on late last year.

What has been your worst day on radio so far?
Well, I have had quite many, but the time after the passing on of my son was really hard. I had to put a smile on for the callers with all this pain in my heart, well, I got enough leave but it was my choice to come to work, staying home idle wasn’t doing me any good. When you are on air, people don’t want to hear your problems, all they want is the Tindi who cracks them up. That was one of the most challenging moments really.

And the stalkers?
Oh yes, those ones will always be there, you don’t have to be on TV or radio. I had a nasty experience with one though. The man kept calling me to ask what I was wearing, who I was with and at times he would even be standing at my gate. When I reported the matter to police, he backed off.

What freaks you out most about Ugandan men?
The side dishing business! Every man in Uganda, married or dating, has a side dish.

And what is so wrong with that?
Dude, it is bad for someone’s health. You are putting a person’s life at risk.

What is your romantic fantasy?
I don’t bring my bedroom to the floor. I won’t tell you whether I have a fetish or not. If you really want to find out, we can start dating.

By the way, you have cute eyes…
(Blushes) I have been told so. I love my eyes, they are the only part of my body that I like. But wait, I like my hips too though they are seasonal, generally my whole weight is all on and off, I am elastic, I just keep losing weight like a rubber band. I am elastic.

Ten years from now...
Between TV and radio, I will have to pick one, drop the other. I joined NTV’s Mini Buzz show last year.
You sound so causal, if I was the CEO I am not sure I would hire you the first time.
Come on, it is because I am talking to somebody as casual as I am. Come in as a CEO, and you will see the CEO in me.

That’s why it is a Monday and you are dressed as if you are going to club.
(Laughter) Do you know what time I wake up? I wake up at 4am to prepare for the Mini Buzz show.