By Allan Olingo
As soon as popular comedian Fred Omondi walked onto the podium, the crowd began to laugh even before he could utter a word, perfectly setting the pace for a great night of comedy filled with rib-cracking jokes.
During the four hours of comedy, the crowd constantly gasped for air and shed tears of joy, unable to stop the barrage of jokes that rocked their bodies with mirth.
By 6pm, the Tsavo ballroom of the Hilton Hotel in Nairobi was full with an excited crowd that had come to enjoy the special comedy night sponsored by this magazine, and that had previously been held on the first Mondays of each month.
“You know, Kenyans put their computer passwords depending on the region the come from,” joked Fred. “If you check Njoroge’s password, it will be sijalipwa (I have not been paid), mbeca cigana (how much?) and such, but when you head to western, the password will be pota pota (boda boda), chai moto (hot tea)...” The crowd went wild.
The night’s co-hosts, Radio Maisha’s Mwashumbe and Terence, a clown who tickled the crowd with his pastor imitations and church antics, added sizzling spice to the comedians’ repertoires.
A surprise artiste was an American comedian who thrilled the audience with his lazy jokes and magical tricks. “I am so lazy that I can’t even muster the energy to write ‘happy birthday’ on my friends’ Facebook pages. What I do is wait for someone to type ‘happy birthday’ on my friends’ wall then I click ‘like’,” the mzungu said to roaring laughter.
By the time he left the stage, having enticed the audience with his rope and handkerchief magic tricks, the crowd were screaming for more.
Owago Onyiyo rocked the crowd with his Luo imitations and by poking fun at the women by calling them setani (devil). Why? “A woman will make a man admit to mistakes he did not commit,” he thundered, to the delight of the audience, both men and women. Owago then illustrated his point with a personal experience that cracked the crowd up.
Another memorable performance was by Paul ‘Wakimani’ Ogutu, who rocked the crowd with the Kisumu deejay jokes. Famous for his Kisii-inspired letters and poems, and jokes from Nyanza County, Ogutu’s performance had people holding their ribs and gasping for air.