Dr Spire gets audience laughing a lot

Dr Jimmy Spire SsentongoSpire sketching a cartoon during a show in Kampala. 

What you need to know:

  • In his second session, he concentrated on what he is best known for – Cartoons.

Cartoons are what define Dr Spire Ssentongo, but he is a man of many tales.  Ssentongo passes as an academician, lecturing research methods and philosophy to university students.

He has also outed a number of publications over the years. A few months ago, he was a judge at one of the beauty pageants in Kampala. 

With all that on his plate, he decided to take on National Theatre last Friday evening in a show dubbed This Country Laughs a Lot, a stand-up special.

Being his maiden show, Spire had only one job; make this count. 

With his producer, Fun Factory comedian Richard Tuwangye, they did well starting off the show with a great punchline thrown at comedian Dr Hilary Okello, who was the host of the night.  

Spire called him back on stage and asked him the combination he did at high school, to which Okello replied PCM. Hilary then asked Spire the combination he did to which he replied HEG. 
“I did Arts but you are my curtain raiser,” Spire told Okello, attracting cheers from the crowd. 

Spire took turns throwing jibes at different political parties, often putting a disclaimer at the end of the joke when it came to the ruling party, even altering the late Elly Wamala’s Viola song with lines that praised President Museveni, saying the spies in the audience should pass on the message to him. 

Carefully selecting his skits, Spire catered for everyone in the audience, delivering his jokes both in Luganda and English for the few Whites in the house. 

His first session ended with a story about a tablet that was fundraised for him by people on social media. 

“People on social media bought for me a tablet but it is becoming a problem. I am getting messages in my inbox from random people making requests on the type of cartoons I should be drawing. Can you imagine someone who had contributed Shs5,000 came into my inbox and asked whether I had not embezzled their finances because I had taken a week without drawing a cartoon? And then someone goes ahead to tell me that because they contributed to the tablet, they should not pay for this show.”

In his second session, he concentrated on what he is best known for – Cartoons. First sketching Kizza Besigye, then Anita Among before telling the audience that the tablet they bought is not working well.

He drew the rest of the cartoons on a board, depicting the three arms of government through portraits of the first family and their disciples, including Balaam, Bebe Cool and then the opposition led by Bobi Wine. 

Spire treated his audience to an amazing night of comedy, mixing it up with lessons and tales about the many things that have gone wrong in our country but above all, challenging fellow academicians to think out of the box. 

Sundiata and Hilary Okello were some of the other entertainers of the night.