Anne Kansiime now is one of the popular Ugandan comedians in Uganda and some parts of the world. Trevor Noah, a South African Fan who lives in the US, agrees to follow her on their Twitter account @Kansiime256.
She also has 745 thousand Instagram followers, 1.26 million YouTube subscribers, and 3,635,908 Facebook fans.
How did Kansiime manage to accomplish such a feat?
Kansiime’s brand of humour is international, which is why she has fans from all over the world in addition to Uganda.
The “fish out of water” trope refers to this type of humour. A trope is a recurring or prominent theme.
Kansiime expertly employs this trope as the befuddled Mukiga girl taken from the Kabale terraced hills and thrown into the foreign, non-rural settings of Kampala.
Then, like a fish unable to breathe outside of water, she begins to struggle for air.
As a result of this battle, many of Kansiime’s reactions to the reality in which her characters find themselves are conflict-filled.
Her characters are thrust into a situation in which they don’t know anyone and are unsure of the rules. The contradiction between what they know and where they find themselves is then built upon by the fish, her characters.
The humor is then found in the tension between the two as her characters struggle to adjust to their new settings; but, they must not become too accustomed to their new surroundings or the humor would be lost.
The fish out of water cliche has been recognized as a quick and successful approach to construct a functional comedy, as shown in films like Crocodile Dundee and Beverly Hills Cop.
Kansiime illustrates the uneasiness we all feel when we are alienated in new locations, as a sense of paranoia takes root and we wonder: will they get me or will I ever fit in? by playing the naïve and, as a result, confrontational Mukiga girl.
To find one’s footing in such a situation, one can choose to be shy or assertive.
Dan Akroyd plays a snobbish stock trader who has never worked a day in his life, and Eddie Murphy plays a destitute conman who has nothing to his name in the film Trading Places.
Eddie Murphy is pampered while Dan Akroyd loses everything when they trade places. The way they react with such adversity is precisely where the comedy is found. It’s a classic case of the “fish out of water” scenario.
More recently, the Marvel comic superhero Thor landing in New Mexico, where astrophysicist Dr. Jane Foster, her assistant Darcy Lewis, and mentor Dr. Erik Selvig locate him, resulting in a comedy of errors and manners.
Thor had been sent to Earth via a wormhole, with amusing results.
The fish out of water trope has a drawback in that if the character adapts quickly to their new surroundings, they are referred to as “ducks taking to water,” and their humour becomes difficult to enjoy.
Because many comedians lose their ability to be hilarious once they reach a certain size, Kansiime’s use of the fish out of water cliche while being Uganda’s biggest fish in the pond must be carefully negotiated.
Her and her incredibly talented creative director Daniel Omara must foster the comedic components that drew in such large audiences. So far, she’s doing well in this area, and one can only hope that she continues to rule Uganda’s comedy scene.