No room for pity: Maggie the Bwaiserian asserts women's stand in the comedy arena

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Margret Nansubuga, popularly known as Maggie Da Bwaiserian, is a standout young female comedian boldly challenging the status quo on Uganda's major television platforms, competing humorously with the country's wittiest men.

Maggie Da Bwaiserian possesses a unique comedic style that not only elicits laughter but also prompts thoughtful reflection. Her ability to deliver jokes that entertain while sparking contemplation sets her apart in the comedy scene.

Beyond comedy, Maggie Da Bwaiserian is a versatile artist, excelling as an actress and writer. Hailing from the Bwaise ghetto, she brings a distinctive perspective to her craft.

On November 25, she is set to showcase her talent in the Da Ghetto Gal Comedy Show. In an exclusive conversation with Muhamadi Matovu, she shares insights into her life and journey in the world of comedy.

Excerpts below

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Who is Maggie the Bwaiseran, and what is your real name?

Maggie Da Bwaiserian is a born-again Christian, the eldest of three siblings. She is a comedian, actress, and writer, with her real name being Nansubuga Margret.

Why do you go by the name Maggie the Bwaiseran?

I call myself Maggie Da Bwaiserian because I spent part of my childhood in Bwaise, and Maggie is a short form of Margret.

Which educational institutions did you attend?

I started at Bright Community Nursery and Primary School in Kyebando from Nursery up to P.3, then moved to St. Paul Primary School in Kyebando, for P.4 to P.7. I continued at Stena High School in Lukuli Nanganda for S.1 to S.3, then Rise and Shine High School, Ntinda, for S.4. Later, I attended Kyambogo College School for S.5-S.6, and finally, Kyambogo University, where I pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Microfinance.

Are you currently in a relationship, and how does your personal life influence your comedy?

Currently, I am not in a relationship. The last one ended sadly, and I am focusing on healing before considering marriage. I believe the right man will come when the time is right.

Tell us about your upcoming show, "Ghetto Gal," and the inspiration behind choosing that theme.

On November 25, 2023, at the National Theater, I will be hosting the "Ghetto Gal" Comedy Show featuring Pablo, Bizonto, Talkers, and others. I chose this theme as I was born and raised in the Ghetto.

Is comedy a full-time career for you, or do you see it more as a hobby?

Comedy is both my career and hobby.

You have been relatively scarce in the industry lately. What's the reason behind your absence from the stage?

I have been busy with other commitments, but I am now back, performing regularly. This is my second show; the first was on November 25, 2022, at the National Theater, and I plan to make it an annual event.

When did you first step into the world of comedy, and what motivated you to pursue it?

I joined comedy in 2015.

What genre or style of comedy do you specialize in, and do you ever feel intimidated working alongside male comedians?

I specialize in stand-up comedy, where you tell jokes in front of an audience. I don’t feel intimidated working alongside male comedians, as I joined the industry knowing what I wanted.

Are there aspects of the comedy world that you find challenging or dislike?

I love everything about comedy, except for the few individuals who fail to pay us after performances.

Have you ever experienced being stalked, and if so, how do you handle such situations?

Yes, I turn the stalker into a friend, and life moves on. I am friendly and handle such situations with care.

What advice do you have for emerging female comedians who aspire to succeed in the industry?

I advise them to work hard, just like men, as there is no sympathy vote in comedy; you are either funny or not.

What are your perspectives on the current comedy scene in Uganda?

Comedy in Uganda has grown and continues to do so. It is now considered a serious career, with comedians endorsing big companies and earning substantial incomes. The industry sees an influx of new, hilarious comics.

How did your interest in comedy develop, and what led you to choose it as a career?

My interest in comedy grew after being told I was funny but not getting roles in film auditions. I tried comedy, and here I am.

As a female comedian in a predominantly male-dominated field in Uganda, what unique experiences or perspectives do you bring to your comedy?

I bring a Rasta style that some ladies might not attempt, and being one of the few Luganda female comics, I offer a unique touch.

Have you encountered any specific challenges as a female comedian in a male-dominated industry, and how have you navigated through them?

Sometimes, we face challenges, but my hard work speaks for itself. I trust in God, and no one can stop good work.

Are there any female comedians, either in Uganda or internationally, who have influenced or inspired your comedic style?

Cotilda Inapo has been a significant influence. She advised me to develop a character and encouraged me to stay natural and embrace the Ghetto style.

Can you share any memorable moments or experiences from your comedy career that have left a lasting impression on you?

Winning the First Youth Talent Expo Awards in 2015 as the best comedian of the year was memorable. The prize money helped me pay tuition to join university. Additionally, being a finalist in NBS The Comic provided some funds to clear tuition balances and graduate. Comedy played a crucial role in my education.

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