Samantha Kureya, popularly known as Gonyeti in comedy circles, has been earning a living through her raw talent without any professional training in art.
She has, however, struck gold as a natural entertainer as she continues to feature in a number of productions and performing at high profile shows.
The Mufakose-bred comedian first tried her luck on the small screen almost a decade ago after landing her first acting role in 2008 when she featured on a local drama, Kusika Moto and later joined a comedy skit production, P.O Box TV in 2015, before it was rebranded to Bustop TV after the split of its co-founders.
In an interview with NewsDay Weekender, the comedian described her fame as a combination of hard work and resilience.
“To be where I am at the moment it has been a tough journey but by God’s grace I am happy to be fitting well in this competitive trade. The responses I am getting from the people are also giving me the driving force to keep on perfecting my skills,” she said.
Her talent has not gone unnoticed as she has won several awards in recognition of her excellence in the arts and culture sector.
“I never thought that one day I would be making people laugh as a comedian having started my career doing films with no idea about stand-up comedy. It is encouraging when your efforts are being recognised by awards,” she said.
Gonyeti, however, admitted that it has not that easy to break through in the male-dominated profession.
“I think women should be given time to showcase their talents because we know we can deliver more if given a chance.
There is still a lot to be done in our local comedy industry in terms of recognising and supporting female comedians,” she said.
“I am optimistic that with time things will probably transform and female comedians will be accorded the same platforms and opportunities with our male counterparts.”
Gonyeti prides herself in having shared the stage with local and international comedy icons including Uganda’s Anne Kansime.
She cautioned upcoming female comedians to be strong and not to be discouraged by their background.
“Fellow female comedians must not look down upon themselves, hard work is the key as there are no shortcuts in life and also humility keeps one going,” she said.
On handling fame as a celebrity in the society, the former Mufakose High School student said she has professional ways of controlling things as she remains humble with the help of God.
Away from the camera and flashes, Gonyeti describes herself as a humble and shy girl from next door in the ghetto.
“Samantha is quiet and very shy and is the opposite of Gonyeti, who is very loud and sometimes a bully on skits. Wherever I go, people always expect to see Gonyeti not Samantha,” she said.
Off the comedy stage that has given her fame and probably a little fortune, to invade her private life, Gonyeti is in a serious relationship though the man has not yet put a ring on her.
“I am in a serious relationship, but not yet married. My boyfriend is supportive of my profession,” she said.
Gonyeti is a professional hairdresser who enjoys Sadza and beef stew with plenty of vegetables as her favourite meal while on the music front, she enjoys gospel and dancehall music.
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