If it weren’t father’s undue influence, Muhoozi would be a good humourist

Many successful parents feel the pressure to have their children follow in their footsteps. Sometimes, children independently choose to follow their parents, but most of the time, children are harassed or cleverly manipulated into it.

There is a joke about how one doctor’s parents wanted their child to become a doctor like them, but didn’t want it to appear overbearing. So, they often cleverly phrased their anxieties: “Dear son, there are lots of doctors out there; so, you have to choose which type of doctor you would like to be.”

Parents tend to believe that since their career decisions worked out for them, their children will thrive in the same line. It is understandable. But oftentimes, the parent-child talent coding is simply different. It is in this condition that Bwana Museveni finds himself with his son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba. This offspring is clearly an artiste.

It is my contention that were it not for his father’s clever manipulation, Muhoozi Kainerugaba (MK) would be a comic. And I mean not to ridicule MK (as that would be a good stage), but as a playwright myself— and one who studied drama and cinema at Makerere University—I take humour is the grand and noble profession.

Look, folks, keeping crowds animated and slapping their stomachs for 30 minutes or an hour is no mean feat. In truth, had Muhoozi had the freedom to work on his clearly untapped talents — as he is keeping as animated, scared, but quite often, thoroughly entertained — he would be a force in the industry.

And if he doubled as online and stage influencer, he would be a star. (By the way, why are companies not offering MK influencer deals?)

Ever since Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba started tweeting on a large scale—he really loooves his Twitter handle—he has been met with strangely very serious reactions.

You are such a difficult audience to entertain. Muhoozi’s readers either have a terrible sense of humour, or are too serious for life. I know, Muhoozi is also a struggling humourist because he has not had the freedom to work on his skill—but also are the difficult ears of his listeners.

Humour as a craft involves either telling stories or one-line punchlines. Humour thrives on, among other things, incongruence, which is, presenting caricatures, impossible things or unbelievable realities as normal ones.

The more ridiculous, surprising, and unbelievable the humourists’ realities are, the funnier the joke. (Humour also survives on sharp witticism, but this is a different class of humourists, and currently, only Dr Jimmy Spire Ssentongo is in this class in Uganda). With some examples, let me demonstrate MK’s humour of incongruence and surprise, which needs a little honing.

It began with the joke to attack Kenya, which would fall only in two weeks! Impossible or not? That was quite an opening line. Thereafter, he asks his audience whether he should live in Karen or Westlands after taking Kenya. I know, he occupied that big office, but clearly, neither of those things amount to declaring war.

This is a man trying to be funny and one can only play with toys they have played with before. And when the crowd shouts back things about constitutionalism, the comic responded with more jokes: “Haha! I love my Kenyan relatives. Constitution? Rule of law? You must be joking!

For us there is only the Revolution and you will soon learn about it!” Clearly, this is joke as he tried to lighten the moment since Kenya had only recently had an election, which was being compared to the elections that his father holds. Again, you can only joke about things that you know and find funny.

He would come back: “I’m glad that I have scared you Kenyans a bit! Two weeks is long. Nairobi in one week for sure!”

I know, some of these jokes are not sharp enough but, remember, this man has not practiced his craft. The more serious the audience became, the more MK tried to lighten up moments, going on to joke about his removal from the office he then occupied: “Had a good discussion with my great father this morning. Apparently, my tweets scared Kenyans too much? He will announce the changes.” Not bad, anha?

Consider these one-lines, for example: “I did a blood check-up, apparently, I am 20 per cent Greco-Roman. No wonder I like Achilles so much. This woman must surrender!” “I’m not surprised that my big brother Elon Musk is the richest man in the world. He is obviously using our ancient African wisdom to be rich.” And some times, later, “My party and Jesus Christ’s party is not called ‘National Progressive Party’. We have a much better name than that!”

And sometimes, he gives his parents away, like in that M23 joke—about how, “Nobody should mock [their] brothers in M23, I heard some people saying that they can defeat them in a day? Okay. When we convince them to withdraw for peace. They shall do it because they are serious partners for peace in DRC.”

If anyone seriously followed MK’s Twitter feeds, you would see a potential good humourist. He is one time joking about sending the Italian prime minister, Giorgia Meloni a hundred head of cattle for a hand in marriage, and in other times, calling Kyagulanyi with his street name, “Kabobi,” and has announced blood relations with Jesus Christ.

Only his father is great, and his uncle is great, and Elon Musk is his brother. I know, Kainerugaba is abusing his office, but remember, he is in a profession he did not choose. Have you seen his sisters who had the freedom to choose? The message is to parents; allow some legroom as children consider their futures.


The author is a political theorist based at Makerere University

Source: The Observer

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