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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Trendsetter: I’m a serious joker – Dr Ofweneke

Dr Ofweneke
Dr Ofweneke

Sande Bush, better known as Dr Ofweneke, is a 26-year-old standup comedian, corporate MC, events host and host of the TV show Tonight live.

He attributes his success to his faith in God. “In everything I do, I want less of me and more of God to be glorified,” Ofweneke says. He has been named one of Africa’s top 10 funniest people.

Ofweneke said, “The journey to get to where I am takes being around people who are better than you. I surround myself with wise people. My friends include Jalang’o, Robert Burale and MC Jessy. When I talk to these people, I leave feeling I’ve learnt something. You know what they say: If you’re the brightest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”

Ofweneke started his comedy career in church at the age of 20 at Winners’ Chapel. He made his debut when gospel musician Frank Edwards went to perform at the church.

“After he sang, I thought it would be funny to make a joke out of his height. So I said something like: the shorter the monkey, the longer the tail. There was pin-drop silence and the next thing I knew, the MC grabbed the microphone and was apologising to the crowd, saying kids say the dumbest things,” he says.

That did not kill his enthusiasm to pursue comedy.

Ofweneke says his dad was not pleased by his decision to pursue comedy. “He is a political scientist and to him, books are everything.”

But his mother was supportive. “She noticed I had a talent for entertaining people back when I was at Mwea Boys Secondary School in Kirinyaga. During every school event, I would be called upon to lead the events and act like an MC.”

Ofweneke has moved from making about Sh7,000 to demanding upwards of Sh250,000 for a gig.

He concludes by advising aspiring comedians, “Don’t depend on dumb jokes to make your audience laugh. Long gone are the days when comedians showed up to shows with ragged clothes and chalk on their faces, looking like they are going to the Nigerian oracle. It is the time for intelligent jokes now. Comedians in the West are opinion leaders. You will not hear me making a tribal joke. And I pay attention to the clothes I wear because that is my brand.”

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