Comedian Uncle Mo shares his Toolbox for Success

In this edition of Design Hustle, we talk to Moses Kiboneka aka ‘Uncle Mo’, a car mechanic and comedian. Yes, you read it right, certainly not the most obvious combination of careers.

Comedy is not new to Uganda. We have had stalwarts in the industry from Patrick Idringi (aka Salvado) to Pablo Kimuli. The sector has seen it’s up and downs. Recently, the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development came up with a draft regulation that requires comedians to obtain a license, sign a code of ethics and have their scripts approved by a committee in advance. Some comedians took the news with a pinch of salt, seeing it as a way to professionalize the industry. Others were totally against it, citing it as a way to stifle creativity and freedom of speech.

However, we have here, a comedian who despite everything that is going on in the industry and a pandemic that has put a halt on anything deemed entertainment or art, decided to launch a YouTube channel dedicated to comedy.

Tell us about yourself. Who is Uncle Mo?

My name is Moses Kiboneka, known for my skits as “Uncle Mo”. I guess I would call myself a multi potentialite because I am also an actor, writer, singer and comedian. I created a YouTube channel ‘I am Uncle Mo’ where Uncle Mo, a mechanic from Kireka is doing situational comedy. It’s a character that I developed around social commentary in different funny ways.

What led you here?

I am inspired by several international shows, but the one that stood out is ‘The Daily Show’ with Trevor Noah. I mean, he is a South African who has built his craft to the point that he has an international show viewed by so many people. It was inspiring to see that anyone who reaches for their dream can do it.

And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and somehow it was just the perfect melting pot to create what I had always wanted to do. I launched the YouTube channel in July 2020 and the rest – they say – is history.

How has it been?

It has been challenging but nothing I did not expect. There has been a slow and steady process with me and my team working double hours to create videos that people can relate with and also laugh about. Creating a following and reach is a gradual process and we are still working hard at it. To make quality work requires quite some input and the expenses of hiring of equipment has really slowed down my work. But it is about always trying to be better than the last time, so I always ask myself: what new thing should I add?

I believe the sky is the limit and I hope people see me as an inspirational African story of an Engineer who used his profession to start an international comedy career.

Uncle Mo in his ‘garage studio’

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