Kansiime Anne Biography
Kansiime Kubiryaba Anne popularly known as Anne Kansiime, is a Ugandan entertainer, comedian, and actress. She was born on 13 April 1987 in Mparo Village, Kabale District, in the Western Region of Uganda. Her father is a retired banker, and her mother is a housewife. She has been referred to as “Africa’s Queen of Comedy” by some African media outlets.
Anne Kansiime Education Background
Kansiime attended Kabale Primary School. For her O-Level and A-Level education, she studied at Bweranyangi Girls’ Senior Secondary School in Bushenyi. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Makerere University, Uganda’s oldest and largest public university.
Anne Kansiime Career
Beginning in 2007, while still an undergraduate at Makerere University, Kansiime began to participate in drama skits acted by the theatre group Theatre Factory, who played at the Uganda National Theatre in Kampala’s central business district. When Theatre Factory disintegrated, she joined Theatre Fun, that replaced it. The group plays every Thursday evening. The best skits were broadcast on NTV Uganda in the Barbed Wire TV show that later became U-Turn. She partnered with Brian Mulondo as a Taxi interview conductor in the MiniBuzz series and provided comic video dramatizations of topical issues that random passengers discussed.
According to recorded interviews that she gave in 2014, Anne began posting some of her sketch comedy skits on YouTube. She received positive feedback and that encouraged her to post more videos. Her screen breakthrough came when Citizen TV from neighboring Kenya offered her a slot to produce, star and present a comedy show once a week. That is how she came up with the Don’t Mess With Kansiime comedy show. As of November 2014, her YouTube channel had amassed more than 15 million views. Her YouTube videos receive thousands of views and she has appeared on BBC Focus on Africa. She has played to packed houses in Blantyre, Gaborone, Kigali, Kuala Lumpur, Lagos, Lilongwe, London, Lusaka and Harare.
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Even amongst various acting commitments, Kansiime has continued performing and touring as a standup comedian. Kansiime’s comedy style tends to focus on aspects of her personal life. “I like talking about things that are going on in life, because that’s always going to be different and original,” she says. She is married to Gerald Ojok, a native Acholi. They have no children, as of February 2015. At that time, she was in the process of compiling an album of Children’s songs, which she intends to release later in 2015.
Kansiime Anne Age
She was born on 13 April 1987.
Anne Kansiime Husband – Kansiime Anne Husband
She is married to Gerald Ojok, a native Acholi.
Kansiime Anne Wedding – Anne Kansiime Wedding
She got married in 2013 in a beautiful traditional wedding.
Anne Kansiime Awards
- Comedy YouTube Sub-Saharan Africa Creator Award 2016
- Outstanding Female Comedian 2016
- Teeniez Funniest Comedian 2016
- African Entertainment Awards USA, Best Comedian’s Award 2015
- Rising Star – Comedian of the Year 2015
- African Oscar Award for favorite comedian 2015
- Nollywood & African People’s Choice Award for favorite comedian 2015
- YouTube silver play button 2015
- AIRTEL Women of Substance Awards 2014
- BEFFTA 2013 (Best Comedian) Winner.
- Lagos International Festival 2013 (Best Actress) Winner.
- Social Media Awards (Favorite Celebrity) winner
- African Social Awards Malaysia (ASAM) – 2013
Anne Kansiime Interview
Tell me about yourself
Anne Kansiime: I’m an open book, not as rude and scary as the kansiime in the clips. Anyone who watches my clips know that I’m married. I’m a local woman from Uganda from MPAROKITAKA in Western Uganda. I’m the fourth born of a family of six. I have both my parents; my dad is a retired banker and my mum is a housewife. I have a degree in social science in sociology although I wanted to do music, dance and drama at the university but my parents wouldn’t have me do that. I don’t really see myself as a comedian but as an entertainer.
Do you find yourself funny?
Anne Kansiime: (laughs) Yes often I catch myself laughing at my own jokes. Sometimes I’m shocked by the things I pull off on stage and I end up laughing at myself.
Would you say that you’ve always been funny?
Anne Kansiime: I could always tell a story better when I was younger; I would make it more dramatic than the actual story. Even something like The Titanic, I could twist that love story to be just plain comedy. I used to do that a lot in high school and most of the kids wanted to hear my version of the story. I’d always lie here and there just to make it hilarious.
Where do you get your sense of humour from?
Anne Kansiime: My parents are extremely funny but only to non-family members. When my friends come over they leave the house in tears because of laughing at the things my parents say. For us who have grown up with them, it’s really normal. In fact in my family I am the least funny person.
Do you write your own scripts?
Anne Kansiime: I used to write my own scripts until the demand became extreme and I could not cope so I hired a team of very creative people who write my material. My team is headed by Cotilda who is a Ugandan stand-up comedian. The group is just a bunch of local comedians who are so talented and can understand the craziness that we have to bring to stage.
Do you think your show could ever be international?
Anne Kansiime: What do you mean? It’s already international. I’ve had six shows in England, in London particularly. I’ve had shows in Zambia, Malawi, Malaysia, Manchester, Birmingham and they were all sold out.
How does the international market identify with the African nature of your comedy?
Anne Kansiime: I don’t like thinking of it like that because initially I was just working for a Ugandan audience and that’s how I became famous. I didn’t even know my shows were online. So basically what I’m saying that there are very many people who are away from home who want a botanical touch and they relate to my shows because after my show they’d be like, “Oh! I remember that!” And then also, most of my clips speak for most shy women around the world who would actually want to say the things that I say but are unable to, so it doesn’t matter how African it is, people can relate.
What is your greatest inspiration?
Anne Kansiime: My mum. Even when I am in low spirits and I have no content or I’m just on a dry spell, I go home for a week and she’s just crazy. If she’d gone professional, she’d be the best comedian IN THE WORLD! She never loses an argument, she’s extremely witty, you can never catch her off guard, she will find something to say, so she definitely inspires me.
Although my greatest support right now comes from my husband because I keep thinking that if he didn’t trust me the way he does, I don’t think I’d be doing as well because he keeps encouraging me to keep doing what I’m doing.
How do you find married life?
Anne Kansiime: It’s not what I thought it would be. You know the stories I heard before I got married, were that married life is hard, it’s tough, you both change; just negative things. So I really thought that marriage was going to be so difficult. I can tell you that I don’t feel married. I married my friend and I enjoy every part of being married to him. My husband is calm and understanding, even when the Kansiime from the clips sneaks up , he just looks at me and then we talk about it later so he knows how to handle me. I feel like I have this friend who I live with, a friend who will be there forever. I think everyone should marry a friend. It’s a beautiful union.
Do you plan on having any children?
Anne Kansiime: HELLO!! Of course!! That’s why I’m working this hard so that by twenty eight or twenty nine I can start missing those periods. I really want to get children because I can’t push it too far off because an African man can only wait for so long. At the same time I’m obsessed with children. I actually have a music album for kids and I’m hoping to launch it sometime this year. I’m doing the videos right now and I want to package it in such a way that when I release the album it will just be spectacular.
What are your thoughts on the Kansiime craze in Kenya?
Anne Kansiime: Honestly Kenyans scared me the first time because I’ve either known Kenyans to love something with all their hearts or to hate it. They don’t know how to be lukewarm so I get a lot of pressure to protect that love that they have so I really try to stay true to who I am. I don’t want to ever disappoint them. Although sometimes people ask, “But Kansiime, why are you always quarreling, quarreling?” and I tell them, “You know if I stop quarrelling then my show will be, you can now mess with Kansiime.” I have to guard the image I’ve created.
What is your greatest challenge being a comedian?
Anne Kansiime: Just like every comedian my greatest fear is that one day I’ll wake up and I won’t be funny anymore and people won’t laugh. That’s a thought, if you allow to have it, it will make you lose sleep, zone out and just go into depression. A comedian’s worst fear is death on the stage.
So what do you do when people don’t laugh?
Anne Kansiime: I think that God has just been too good, that hasn’t happened to me yet. If they don’t laugh at what I wanted, I always have a backup line or something up my sleeve. I have to make my audience laugh; even if it means removing my clothes and insulting my legs. THEY HAVE TO LAUGH.
Who does Kansiime symbolize?
Anne Kansiime: By the way, Kansiime is just my mum. The stuff I saw her do when I was young, the way she reacts to situations, the way she can never lose an argument… it’s just my mum. I just exaggerate her actions.
Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
Anne Kansiime: I would be lying if I said I could tell you where I would be in June. Three years ago I never imagined that I would be here. In fact all that I wanted from life was a guy so that I could get married and have children. So I can’t tell you where I’d be in ten years but I know I’d be a happy woman. I can see myself with fellow comedians, with the likes of Kevin Hart or being the curtain raiser for any other crazy international comedians.
Do you have plans for the future outside comedy?
Anne Kansiime: I’m working on a movie; I can’t’ talk about it due to confidentiality. I’m praying that it goes well and that people can accept me for being an actor because it’s very hard for comedians to transition to being actors because the audience isn’t used to seeing them playing a serious role. If the project is successful, I will be unstoppable for sure.
What advice would you give aspiring comedians?
Anne Kansiime: The simple truth about how I got here was honestly favour from God. I don’t have a definite formula but I’d say that persistence is key. My creative assistant was on stage every week for two years and for those two years she never had a funny show but because she refused to believe that she wasn’t funny… she kept at it until she became funny. Right now she heads a show called Queens of Comedy and she’s a perfect example of what persistence can do.
I used to work and I’d get fifty dollars per month as a salary. I was staying in a hostel where I had to pay rent of forty dollars and at that time I was in university and everything looked better; shoes looked more attractive, clothes looked more attractive, but I still stuck to that job. I never gave up. People don’t give up on your dreams!!
What are your greatest achievements?
Anne Kansiime: Recently The New Vision (Uganda’s leading newspaper) named me the best celebrity in Uganda. That meant a lot to me because they were communicating that they see what I’m doing and appreciate it. I met the Queen last year and I had dinner with her. She was just lovely. She didn’t say much because she’s very old but she was lovely. I’m also a brand manager for Old Mutual in Kenya which is an insurance firm. There is a clinic in Zambia named after me. It’s called Kansiime Anne Relief that gives medical services to the villagers in particular villages which is something that really touched me. I find myself donating to help this cause because I never thought that would ever happen to me.
What are your parting words?
Anne Kansiime: I’m a clear example of the fact that, the moment you become yourself, the world will accept you for who you are. There’s nothing out of the ordinary that I’d do. I’m just a local comedian and I can tell you that local works. Being botanical and going back to our roots works. You see the material that we used to hate so much is now what everyone is wearing. It’s all I wear when I go on stage (The Ankara Clothes). I’m crazy about the Nigerians who have forced their accents down our throats and now we are in love. So people, let’s be ourselves, let’s own our ‘africanness’ because trust if we all start being proud of who we are, the Kim Kardashians of the world will be out of business.
Credit: Afrikan Mbiu