With local stand-up comedy steadily growing and attracting a larger audience, the Com Factory — a weekly stand-up comedy show — provides a platform for nurturing local comedians.
Com Factory was started late last year by John Makenzie alias Babu, a member of the Comedy Knights group. The group are regarded as the pioneers of stand-up comedy shows.
“So far, the feedback has been good, and we are steadily gaining experience, which we believe is helping us grow,” said Muyenzi, who also hosts the show.
Com Factory is held every Thursday at Kigali’s Urban Boutique Hotel.
The Comedy Knights are the main performers but also provides a platform for up-and-coming comedians.
“The event has been resourceful because new talents get the opportunity to hone their skills,” said Jerome Mugisha, manager of Comedy Knights and one of the organiser’s of the event.
Besides Comedy Knights members, other performers are Seth, Divine, Joshua Kamirindi, Zatara and Nakato.
Featured comedians from outside the country are Daniel Omara, Emeka, Cotilda and the Queens of Comedy from Uganda, and Dr Ofweneke from Kenya.
The Com Factory show also airs on national broadcaster Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) every Saturday at 9pm and Tuesdays at 10am.
“RBA not only airs the show but also provides sponsorship for the show’s production,” said Muyenzi.
Despite the event attracting a good number of people to the live show and only charging Rwf5,000 ($6) as entrance fee, it suffered a major setback early this year, when it halted its operations in March.
This is because it had yet to renew its contract with the Galaxy Hotel management, but later opted for the Urban Boutique Hotel, where the show has been held for the past two months.
“This setback saw our audience members reduce,” said Muyenzi, adding “The event used to host guest comedians from around the region, but this stopped due to lack of sponsorship.”
Following this, the show’s organisers decided to cancel entrance fees in a bid to attract more people to the shows.
“We are currently focusing on the show’s production, to enable its continuity,” said Muyenzi.
As part of its future plans, the Com Factory wants to produce video skits in order to attract more people.