Every Thursday comedy enthusiasts thronged Bukoto based popular- now crumbling hangout Diners Lounge to relieve off stress courtesy of Alex Muhangi’s Comedy Store.
Muhangi, a former radio dejeey on Radio Rukungiri now sound engineer earned a name as a famous comedian in Kampala.
While building his career, he teamed up with a couple of comedians in town to earn a living until mid last year when he went solo and began an outfit -COMEDY STORE!
Muhangi then partnered with Diners Lounge owner only identified as David who happens to be the majority shareholder. His co-owner is also known as Steve.
Both Muhangi and David hail from Kabale, bonded with ethnicity the sky was the limit.
Comedy Store’s debut didn’t disappoint, with10k as entrance the crowd surged.
The initial agreement was that Muhangi pays off the venue every Thursday.
Muhangi was however, dismayed to learn that David increased the weekly renting fee from shs 1 million to 1.5m in less than two months.
“May be David thought that the comedy couldn’t work. He was however shocked to see huge numbers turning up to watch comedy,” a staff at Diners who asked to remain unnamed said.
In his package Muhangi would invite different comedians who would crack jokes for 3 hours and then a big musician in town to close the night.
Further, the understanding between Muhangi and David was that Diners benefits from selling drinks.
“Whenever a customer booked a table with a bottle of Whiskey or Wine, he/she was entitled to complementary of 6 people. And ofcourse it’s the bar that benefited from that arrangement not Muhangi,” a staff added.
At one point Muhangi was compelled to increase the entrance fee to 15k because the boss had threatened to ditch Comedy Store saying the weekly rent couldn’t match the huge crowds.
“It reached a point and Muhangi set a standard entrance to 20k because the witch-hunt was too much. At this point David demanded 2 million as weekly rent,” added a staff.
“Muhangi persisted because the night was promising. He also started hosting international comedians from Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya, Rwanda and other countries.”
Until early this year, Diners started losing clientele, the bar wasn’t catching as it used to be. It only remained with Thursdays when the bosses expected to make money.
In Uganda particularly Kampala, bars have trends where the hype diminishes drastically after sometime of operational “and I think it was time for Diners.”
It rubbed David and his Bakiga ilk the wrong wat to see only Thursday’s happening!
In fact, David got idea of taking over Thursday and send Muhangi packing, “he thought he would compensate other days with Thursdays.”
Muhangi in August travelled to America to attend Uganda North America Associations (UNAA) convention.
Whereas he notified Diners management of absence, David organised comedians and musicians and pocketed the cash which violates the agreement.
Muhangi on returning was told that his services are no longer needed and the contract was terminated.
Diners has since hired another popular comedian Ronnie Mcvex.
And this Thursday Diners Lounge will launch Diners Comedy hosted by Mcvex.
We are told the management will only pay Macvex every Thuraday and the rest of the gate collections shared among the owners.
This Website understands that Muhangi has taken his outfit to 400 Bar and Lounge a stone throw away from Diners Lounge.
“We are looking for a new space for our weekly show that will cater for the needs in line with our long term plans. As brands grow, new challenges emerge as well the aspirations. So Comedy Store seeks a new venue that is spacious enough to accommodate 2,000 people, great environment and offers good customer service to our clientele,” that is a message Muhangi sent to pals confirming he had quit Diners Lounge.