As the comedy industry continues to grow, many have broken through and others have failed for a number of reasons including lack of originality and unexpected fame.
Among those that have risen to fame is Kafeero Toby Innocent commonly known as Dr. T Amale who is famous for mimicking former Presidential Press Secretary Tamale Mirundi.
Born and raised in Masaka, the twenty six year old comedian is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication from UMCAT School of Journalism in Wandegeya.
He worked with Radio Simba as a trainee where he met Omulangira Ndausi who discovered his talent as a comedian.
“I had no idea I was becoming a comedian until when I was asked voice an advert and Ndausi told me that I sound just like Tamale, you can always act like him. Since that day I took over it,” he said.
He would later join Pastor Bujinjo’s Salt FM as a news anchor, a career he didn’t take interest in. it was his love for comedy that led to his downfall from the pastor’s radio station to re-join Radio Simba.
“Bujingo never wanted me to become a comedian because he thought my life will be shattered within a short time but I knew it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was forced to live and return to Simba where I am still working as a presenter so as to follow my dreams,” he adds.
Dressed in a checkered navy blue suit, he met up with ChimpLyf’s Shamim Kawalha at the National Theatre to discuss his life, career, and future plans.
Why did you choose to mimic Tamale Mirundi of all people?
It wasn’t my choice; it was the talent that was discovered. I can mimic many people but Tamale got many people’s attention since he is loved by many. It wasn’t a simple decision to take but every time you are going to climb a huge tree you get scared but later climb it.
How has it been living as Tamale?
I am not living as him but mimicking him is one of the hardest things because he is an intelligent man who is always two steps ahead of most of us. I wasn’t challenged on how to succeed as him because I decided not to use his exact works but rather pick his style and voice. Yu know the audience judges you and expects you to deliver poor work but I always make sure I am rich with content. I must tell you that Tamale doesn’t like me and he has always said it loud but I have to keep moving.
He once attacked Radio Simba looking for me saying that I tarnish his name which I never do. Ever since I began mimicking him, I have kept myself clean so as to not to lose the audience because we share the same people. The people that watch me are the same people that love him.
That sounds serious? Has he ever attacked you physically or reported you to police?
No he hasn’t. He just makes verbal threats but he hasn’t beaten me yet. I guess he realized I wasn’t doing anything bad. He couldn’t get legal basis to come sue me because it would have been defamation but I don’t defame him or his name. I am just using his voice for a living.
I am promoting him because he stays on people’s faces forever and with my existence there is competition between the two of us. He always works harder to beat me which makes him better and wiser each day.
How has your life changed ever since you became a comedian?
A lot of things have happened; I find them positive because now days people keep pointing at me saying that “that’s the guy we watch on TV”. It’s amazing I get booked for shows and get paid instantly (opens the wallet to show me his fifty thousand shillings notes) at least I can now afford fuel and food in a good restaurant.
There are some youth that I inspire and I am now supporting my family. I must say being a comedian has brought me good things.
Didn’t you fear the competition?
I am not competing with anyone because I am unique. People copy jokes but I am a political joker no one can copy me. I only compete with the real Tamale.
We have seen many comedians come and fall, how sure are we that you are here to stay?
People have talent but pride kills it all. Even the Bible states it that God hates proud people. When you are proud you settle for less because you are blinded by the pride. These people you say come for a short time will have been in the industry for a while trying their luck out and when they shine, the fame is too much to handle and they end up messing and breaking at the last time.
As for me, I am a presenter who stands alone. I can write for myself and do more things. I know one day Tamale can interfere and stop me from using his voice but I can still exist because I know how to create original content. If I wasn’t Tamale Mirundi I would have been someone else.
The other thing why people fail is because they are school dropouts, most of them didn’t get a career after high school which makes them desperate (He speaks in Tamale Mirundi’s voice).
There is this thing we call excitement, it kills many people’s careers. I was almost falling victim but being born again, the Lord brought me back to life. When people become famous they tend to forget what made them famous and forget doing new content, they lack concentration.
Speaking of being born again, when did this happen?
I have grown up in a Christian family and I have never forgotten about my background. In this field we are in, you either choose God or witchcraft and I chose God. As a born again, you have the power to burn anything put against you and you are stronger. I try every day to be righteous so that one day I can be in heaven. As for you (pointing at me) better be saved so that we can meet in heaven.
Do you or have you ever used drugs?
No, I don’t and I won’t be using them soon. I will use Jesus as my drug and I will not leave Him until I die. I know once again that I will be in heaven.
Dr. T, are you in a relationship?
Laughing out loud (in Tamale Mirundi’s voice) these Kampala girls it’s either you have them or they have you. You can’t be sure if you have them, it’s like playing a jackpot. I don’t know if the numbers I choose are the right ones. I am waiting on time. One day I know I will win and marry her.
Do you ever crush on women, if so who is that lucky one?
I always have my crush on Annet Nandujja. Which kind of man wouldn’t want to marry such talent, her voice is angelic. If she was my age mate I would gladly date her (laughing out)
What’s up with your life?
I host a program on BBS- Foolish Chase and Omusekereka Nyuma. I also have a show coming up this October 5th at Theatre La Bonita. It will be my first one man show and I know I will pull it off because I intend to give it my best. I will be launching my book titled ‘Lwadagada’ which means something big. It will consist of many things that everyone needs to read about. My comedy show will replace the Kampala City Carnival. I will tell people all the political and social questions they have always had.
Do you listen to music?
A lot, I love music especially that of Eddy Kenzo, Rena Nalumansi. Eddy Wizzy despite him not being a singer but I love the songs he features on. There is this light skinned girl called Nina Roz, her music is my type too.
Any words of encouragement to the fans?
Thank you believing in me, and I am happy that we are growing together.