Choosing comedy as a job is my biggest regret— Comedian Ssenjovu

Sunday January 10 2021
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Ivan Ssenjovu on stage. PHOTO/GABRIEL BUULE

By Gabriel Buule

First thing you do when you wake up is...

To thank God for the new day and ask him to bless me with more projects. I put God first. 

What type of music do you listen to...?

I do not have a specific music genre, I listen to what comes in the moment. For example, when I am sleeping I want to listen to slow music (country) such as American singer Jim Reeves.

First thing you do when you get to work is...

Check social media updates and messages on my phone; I respect new messages than food. This is because as a freelancer , I always look forward to new clients. 

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Earliest childhood memory...

My mother left me and went to the garden. she told me to keep the shop. I locked the shop (duuka) and went to play football with my friends. She found me between the goalposts and thoroughly caned me. 

First best friend...

Allan Mwanja when I had just joined Makerere University and he was the first person I found in the lecture room. I was from the village and he was a town chap from Gayaza.

First kiss…

This is a funny question.  This was at university during a film project according to the script, I had to kiss a girl.

First book you read….

Apart from the books about acting and film I read at school, there is not much. I love short stories and I pray to adopt the culture  of reading books.

First job...

After my Senior Six vacation, my music teacher called me for a gig at one of the big schools, Royal Giant High School, in Mityana. 

I had to train them in music dance and drama (MDD) for a competition.  I used money from that gig to buy a smartphone, mattress and  my first rent payment.

First salary...

I used to earn Shs100,000 as a shop keeper at  Ngeye Shopping Centre on Market Street in Mityana. I used to save that ‘ka-money’ because we worked from Monday to Sunday, 24/7.  We had no days off.

Current job...

I am a creative artist and founder of Merry Heart Comedy specialising in situational comedy from social media updates all over the world. I am also, an events emcee and MDD consultant.

What do you like most about your job?

I feel so happy when I receive messages from people telling me their  stress was relieved  after watching my videos, especially our sisters and brothers working abroad and  army officers in Somalia. I feel good when I turn agony into comedy.

Which doors has it opened up for you...?

I have made friends with many people, our social media pages and YouTube channel is active. I have been able to feature in different TV and social media commercials, and recently  Merry Hearty Comedy made skits with comedy duo Maulana and Reign.

Most memorable experience...

It was December 31, 2018. We had been toperform at three different shows. We did one in Kajjansi  which went well. But we were pumped up for the one in Nateete.  It was the biggest of them all from the set up  to the audience, we had to use bodabodas to beat traffic to the venue in time. As we were heading to the on stage though, singer David Lutalo showed up and wanted to perform and leave, then Madrat and Chico, after the fireworks, it was Bebe Cool, we just left.

Biggest regret in life...

Choosing to do comedy as a livelihood. People will never take me seriously. Even at my home, when I tell them about an event, they first call someone else to confirm. Even to my workmates, I cannot announce a death and they believe. I would love people to know that we also have a serious life off stage.

Why did you complete school...?

Because see it is helping me meet important people of different classes, and create more different from other creatives. 

Best advice...

My mentor and work mate Philip Luswaata said discipline is the best path.

Comedy business

Ssenjonvu is a theatre artist who has worked with various theatre groups. He is the proprietor of Merry Heart Comedy which is online and on stage.

He says his comedy outfit does situational comedy and we focus on performing to transform audiences of different categories.

We give you updates in a lighter mood so you recover from your stress as you get the message.

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