Ugandan comedian Salvado engineering success one laugh at a time

The comedian who found his calling
The comedian who found his calling

    JUST WATCHED

    The comedian who found his calling

MUST WATCH

The comedian who found his calling 00:50

Story highlights

  • Patrick 'Salvado' Idringi is one of Uganda's best known comedians
  • He had previously worked as an engineer for a telecoms company
  • Salvado attributes his success to his readiness to talk openly about taboo subjects

(CNN)If laughter is the best medicine then Patrick "Salvado" Idringi should be Uganda's chief doctor.

The comedian's blend of laugh-out-loud humor and cheeky charm has brought him widespread following in his home country and abroad, and even landed him inside the pages of Vogue.
However, he has followed an unorthodox path to success, having spent years working as a switch engineer for one of Uganda's biggest telecoms companies. It was only when he entered a comedy competition on the encouragement of his sisters and came second that he realized he could make a living out of his funnyman persona.
    "I left my job in 2011 because I was making unserious money by being serious. I realized you can make serious money from being unserious," Salvado says.
    But leaving secure employment with a regular monthly paycheck had been far from easy, and the comedian had to quickly learn the ropes of being a freelance performer. Some gigs would offer beer instead of payment, but Salvado soon realized that that wasn't going to help him pay his rent.
    "Leaving my job was one of the hardest moments of my life, especially the first month, because I wasn't sure how I was going to make ends meet," he says. He even entertained the idea of returning to his old job, but in the end stuck with his new profession.
    "I was patient, because deep down in my heart I knew it was going to work. I didn't know how long it would take, but I definitely knew it was going to work," he says.
    Salvado mines his own personal experience for his show material, and attributes his success to his openness to talk about subjects that some comedians in Uganda might avoid, such as sex, love and death.
    He says that, while he loved engineering, he always felt something was missing, and that he wasn't using his full potential, but that comedy has helped him grow as a person.
    "When you do a joke today, there's no way you're going to do it tomorrow. So you're challenged to do something better, you're challenged to use your head, to use your mind, to use every part of your body to the best of your ability," Salvado says.
    "It has helped me actually exploit most of the things that I didn't know I could do. So I should say comedy has changed my life."