I joined comedy after I was chased from film auditions

Maggie Da Bwaiserian alias name Margret Nansubuga

What you need to know:

  • Upclose. Born again Christian, Maggie Da Bwaiserian (actual name Margret Nansubuga) is a comedian, actress, and writer. She grew up in the Bwaise ghetto and is the first of three children. Later this month, on November 25, she will present her, Da Ghetto Gal Comedy Show, she speaks with Isaac Ssejjombwe about life and comedy.

Where did the Bwaiserian name come from?

I named myself De Bwaiserian because I spent some of my childhood in Bwaise and I needed a name that fit my character.

How did you join the comedy?

I joined comedy in 2015 after being chased from a film audition for being too funny. The judges laughed so hard and told me they would call me when they got comedy scripts. I went back home, and while on social media, I saw a friend who had shared Kalela, the comedian’s post about their Punchliners show that used to happen at Waikiki, Centenary Park.

I texted him and told him I also wanted to join comedy. He introduced me to Cotilda Inapo, who helped me so much and taught me the basics of comedy. 

Was comedy all you wanted to do while growing up?

I grew up aspiring to be an actress. During my Form Six vacation, I joined the film industry and worked on a few films that I am yet to watch to date. I developed a passion for comedy, and left acting.

Tell us about your comedy journey

I started out performing at Comedy Files, Queens of Comedy, and the Punchliner’s Comedy Club. In addition to performing at most comedy shows in Uganda, I have my own comedy show, Da Ghetto Gal Comedy Show, which takes place annually. 

There are many female comedians. How different are you from the rest?

Being the only female performing in Luganda at the moment, I believe I am a bit different; however, I can do English too, though I enjoy Luganda more.

We rarely see you on stage; where do you perform from?

I haven’t been on stage much because I’ve been a little busy with other stuff, but I’ve been focusing on my show and I’m back like never before.

What challenges are you facing in the comedy business?

Some people don’t want to pay us after performing, and even when professionalise by asking for a deposit before the show, they say we are showing off.

Who have you always looked up to in this business?

I have always looked up to Cotilda Inapo.

What is the first thing you do in the morning?

I first pray after I get my phone.

What is the first thing you do when you get to work?

I still pray; it’s one thing I don’t forget.

Earliest childhood memory?

Since I was a very stubborn child, I was always punished for my cousin’s mistakes (she was a silent burner). One day we were playing house, cooking, she brought the matchbox, lit the fire near our rich neighbor’s fence that had Xmas trees, fire spread and all the trees were burnt (upto now the new trees they tried to plant refused to grow) people gathered, chairman came and I have never been caned like that day, chairman caned us but was caned more since everyone believed I must have been the one who brought the idea, people caned us, my uncle came back they reported us and he caned us, my mum came back later and they reported and she caned me too, my cousin’s sis said they have over caned us let us get lost, we ran away from home and went into hiding in the nearby bush, it started getting dark we got scared and got back home, we found when they were looking for us again they caned us.

First-best friend?

I had two best friends: at school, it was Flavia, and at home, Juliet was my first best friend.

First kiss?

I was in my Form Six vacation, and I felt like I had made it in life. That is all I can say.

The first book you read

Gulu Gulu Goes to School

First job?

Acting was my first job.

First salary

I don’t remember the exact amount I was given, but all they gave us transport.

What do you like about your job?

I am happy, I enjoy what I do and yet I still earn.

Most memorable experience?

The day I won my first award in 2015, it came with a cash prize too, which helped with my tuition for a year.

The biggest regret in life?

I have no regrets; I just thank God.

Best advice

My mom always told me to never focus on what I don’t have but to appreciate what I have.

Hobbies

Making people laugh, eating, sleeping, and eating.