MCM: Comedian Pablo, a man who proves that ‘Positivity never goes fruitless’
Written by Derrick Asaba on December 27, 2021
December is a month that among other pertinent issues, more awareness on HIV/AIDS is made world across through multiple ways. December 1, is celebrated globally as the World AIDS Day.
Back home in Uganda, the culture is equally emulated. Partly behind this awareness, stands a man of 43 years that over the decades has taken it to a wider scale ― to help people living with HIV/AIDS.
He is Kenneth Kimuli also popularly known for Stand up Comedy as Pablo, a Ugandan comedian, playwright, emcee, actor, dancer and journalist.
Following the loss of both his parents (Stephen Isingoma and Enid Kirungi Katungwensi Isingoma) to HIV/AIDS at an early age, Pablo has since engaged in a number of drives against AIDS and also formed charity organisations to support youths living with HIV/AIDS.
Besides the philanthropic role he has played through Pill Power Uganda and Tangaza Arts Centre charity organisations, Pablo has equally used his talent as a comedian to create a difference.
In 2013, he organised a fete called Comedy Meets Music that attracted artists, including Zambian gospel singer, Pompi among others, to raise money to help spread information about HIV/AIDS. In the same year, Pablo founded the Zip Up Campaign aimed at young people to fight HIV/AIDS.
As if that wasn’t all, he organised another Comedy Meets Music show in 2014 which attracted over 10 comedians including Dr. Ofweneke from Kenya and 10 musicians. Proceeds from this show support went to the Zip-up 256 HIV/Aids prevention campaign.
The Zip Up 256 campaign birthed his partnership with Uganda AIDS Commission in a move which aimed to reach out to schools and universities using entertainment and testimonies by youths infected with the virus.
In 2015, he formed an organisation called Pill Power Uganda which he runs, together with youth living and affected by HIV/AIDS. Under this project, he mentors people living with HIV/AIDs.
He formed another charity, Tangaza Arts Centre in 2016 where young people living with HIV/AIDS are armed with life skills. Tebere Art Centre was also formed in the same year.
A man with a heart of gold, Pablo participated in a reach out program to the prisoners in Luzira Maximum Security Prison that included performing stand up comedy and interactions in 2009 together with Power FM.
In 2016, he partnered Reach A Hand Uganda to sensitize and raise awareness to student leaders and teachers from over 10 different secondary schools on matters to deal with HIV/AIDS.
He was born in Mbale and is the seventh born of nine children. He went to Macknon Kindergarten for his nursery education in Kampala, then joined Shimoni Demonstration Primary School. Hell broke loose and his father died of HIV/AIDS in 1988.
On this account, the family relocated to Mbarara where he continued his primary schooling in Boma Primary School and later on Bweranyangi Primary School where he did his Primary Leaving Examinations in 1993. In that same year at the age of 14, he lost his mother to HIV/AIDS.
This environment provoked the distribution of Pablo and his siblings to be taken care of by different relatives who were living in Masindi, Mbarara and Kabarole districts. Pablo’s maternal uncle, Stephen Isingoma and his wife Joan Musiime Mushagara became his guardians.
Pablo later on continued his education in Mbarara High School for his Ordinary Level and Advanced Level. He then went to Namasagali University, acquiring a Bachelors degree in Mass Media, Journalism and Creative Writing in 2003.
After graduation in 2003, Pablo hoofed along the streets of Kampala to trace a job that would align with his expertise but all the effort he invested equated to shire futility.
He tried writing articles for newspapers but were all trashed. When he failed, he wisely thought otherwise. He then started his own Newspaper called Vanguard but it died on the vine ― failed within six months.
He later joined the Daily Monitor newspaper as a freelance journalist in 2004 until 2008. Similarly in years, he worked as a radio presenter on Power FM till 2009.This is where he acquired the Pablo name.
Between 2006 and 2013 Pablo was appointed Productions Director of a radio drama called Rock Point 256. In 2009, he joined The Observer Newspaper as a humour columnist.
Trekking to put smiles on faces
Walking through the helms of life as a comedian and entertainer, his craft proved to be a no hoax. He mainly does Observational Comedy and Satire.
He attributes his comedy to his parents who he says were humorists of their own generation. While in Mbarara High School, he stood for food prefect just for fun and he won and that’s when he knew he was meant for comedy. He is also inspired by Bill Cosby.
In 2004, he was assigned by the Daily Monitor newspaper to write an article on Theatre Factory. Afterwards he kept on going back to watch them during rehearsals as he gave them tips. This opened his way with an invitation to join the group in 2005.
In 2007, he was invited by Robert Redford to the Sudance Theatre Program in the USA where he shared the stage with celebrated film actors and actresses.
In 2009, he won the Stand Up Uganda walking away with $10,000. He later started his own weekly show called Pablo Live after leaving Theatre Factory. Later on, the show was changed to every last Friday of the month.
After eight years of Pablo Live, it closed in 2016 and later reopened almost a year later in 2017. He performed at the Comedy Club Live in Lagos, Nigeria and at the Comedy Club Live in Mombasa, Kenya in February and November 2010 respectively.
In 2012, he performed in the Nights of 1000 Laughs in Kampala. In 2013, He launched a live show called Pablo and the Continental Comedian. This show featured different comedians brought from different parts of Africa like Chibwe Katebe from Zambia, Allan Bloo and Mandy Uzonitsha from Nigeria.
In 2016 he was nominated in the World’s Funniest Comedian competition. He was nominated in the 2018 TITANS: Building Nations CEO Global Awards in the category of Arts and Media (Continental Award), 2016 Laugh Factory as the Funniest person in the world, 2013 Uganda Social Media Awards as the Best Entertainment Writer but didn’t win.
He won the 2018 Regional winner in Great Lakes Region (Arts and Media category) and 2018 Country winner in Great Lakes Region (Arts and Media category) in the TITANS: Building Nations CEO Global Awards. He also won the Outstanding Performing Arts Award in the 2013 Young Achievers Awards, Best performing artist in the 2012 Edutainment Awards, named Best local actor in the 2010 New Vision Publication Readers Opinion Poll, Best Television Personality in the 2008 & 2009 Buzz Teeniez Awards, King of Comedy in the 2009 Multichoice Stand up Uganda where he beat Patrick Salvador Idringi and Daniel Omara who became first and second runners up respectively.
Pablo has mentored other comedians into the industry like Herbert Ssegujja (Teacher Mpamire) and has inspired others like Ronnie McVex to start doing comedy. Through his Pablo Live Comfort Clinic, new comedians like Gocher were able to join comedy.
Comedian Patrick Salvador Idringi attributes the lifting of the Uganda comedy industry from scratch to Pablo and Amooti Omubaranguzi. Still, Pablo was named as one of the highest paid comedians in Uganda in 2019.
He has on different occasions hosted grand events and ceremonies including the Qwela Christmas party held by Qwela Junction in 2016, the 2019 Ankole Connect along with Speed and co hosted a music show by Oliver Mtukudzi in The “Lockdown Show” together with Anne Kansiime in 2017.
Pablo is married to Karen Hasahya, a former Miss Uganda contestant and Miss Talent 2003. The two met on October 24 2009 in church. He proposed to her on 14 February 2010 and they got married on 4 September 2010 by Pastor Gary Skinner of Watoto Church.
Together they have two children, Kangye Weishemwe Kimuli Amooti and Kunda Wekitinisa Kirungi Acaali.
He was originally an Anglican but later turned tail to heavy drinking and smoking and got saved after hearing Joyce Meyer preach on the television.
Pablo was nominated to stand as a Member of Parliament of Bunyangabu District for 2021-2026 in October 2020. He was formerly a Food Prefect at Mbarara High School. Perhaps, this background equally prompted him to take the try, on.
He wrote ‘One Night Stand’ in 2006 and ‘Madness is Coming’ in 2008. He directed ‘Buried in The Dark’ in 2006. He also acted in The Adams, Prologue in Heaven, Samuel Buckett’s Plays.