By David Miringa
“The MC of an event, including but not limited to a wedding can make or break a function.” That was the first statement I received from one of Uganda’s most celebrated comedians, actor and presenter Hot Cruise on HOT 100, Collins Emeka. Despite the fact that they play a big role, society is yet to fully appreciate comedians for the credit they deserve. Comedians have taken over the wedding Mc territory for all the right reasons. On a rainy Monday evening, I set out to meet, Collins Emeka commonly known as the Romantic Mukiga to take us through, what is happening in MCing world.
Emeka quickly notes that scientific weddings even after Corona will surely stay.
“I have been an Mc at very beautiful receptions with as little as 20 people,” the Najjera based comedian comments.
He adds that the number of weddings he does has almost doubled. Emeka who is dressed in a Kitenge shirt for our interview notes that before COVID, he used to have two to three wedding ceremonies a month, but now, he is fully booked for the rest of the year.
He says scientific weddings have made couples choose reputable wedding venues, the best food for their few guests, given them time for preparations and there is more engagement with their audience.
On the new trends
“Each time I MC, every wedding has something new, something fresh. People are not sleeping; from the dressing, to the décor, to the cake, to the food, there is always something to learn,’’ he reveals. However, he says that weddings are shifting from the traditional, ’stay calm and look shy kind of bride and groom’ to upbeat dances and celebration, something that sometimes receives disapproval from the older generation.
Every day is not a Sunday
He recalls two accounts, where the day was hard at ‘office’. On one account, an uncle spoke for 35 minutes, 33 minutes in excess of what he was supposed to. On the second account, the father of the groom talked long, long enough to reveal the secrets of his son. He advises couples to carefully choose who they want to speak because a speech can ruin a day. He adds that every couple has secrets that is why it is called a journey, and no one should choose someone’s wedding day to reveal everything.
Another challenge is when people dictate and do not give an Mc a chance to be creative.
Beyond the paycheque
Emeka strongly believes that one of his strengths as the modern wedding host is his ability to walk with the couple in prayer, if the couple is comfortable or if they are friends or family. The Watoto Church-based Christian who doubles as a volunteer for their social media team, believes that prayer is a very integral part of a successful wedding just like it is an integral part of a successful marriage. He affirms that his energy on the microphone has been highly recommended with multiple photos of him ‘doing his thing’ making their way to the meme gallery of Ugandan and international social media users.
What he wished every couple knew
“I wish every wedding couple knew that an MC can break or make a wedding. Sometimes we are left out of the preparation process, some other times we are called in late, for example someone can call you on a Friday night for a Saturday wedding,’’ he says. He believes that whereas many wedding hosts have mastered the art of blending in through experience, when an MC has walked with you through the journey of wedding launch to wedding meeting, then to the wedding, he will not fidget with the names of your family, friends or miss out on the key people that need to be mentioned.
He says that chemistry, what the modern millennials call ‘vibes’ is very important and sometimes, it is created in the walk to the big day.
On keeping the fashion flag high
Also Falcon Suits ambassador, Emeka believes that in the modern age, there is no shortcut to being shabby or lousily dressed at a wedding ceremony. He admits that the competition for the job is high so being branded smart and consistent is one way of beating competition. “I appreciate the effort that couples put in these days when it comes to fashion, so the biggest mistake any host would do is not to follow suit.’’ He believes that he has done his part in setting the trend for fellow MCs and those wishing to join the game.
The mathematics of chasing the bag
The wedding Mc admits that sometimes when it comes to payment, it is still a subjective matter. ’’The investment of a modern Mc is high, from transport which is not limited to the D-day but cuts across to meetings with the planners, ensuring that the fashion is up to standard and so on. He says some people pay well, way higher than the market price, others pay the market price while there are those that pay below, but as long as his books balance, he never has a regret for a fairly paying and fulfilling job of making people smile and being part of their happily-ever-after journey
Where to get the gigs
‘’Man, competition is high, but social media does it for me’’ he says. The brand influencer who has mastered the digital spaces especially YouTube and Twitter, says that whereas recommendations play a big role, in modern age, where everyone getting married is using the internet, online is the new advertising-free space. He does not rule out the fact that friends and family help out in recommending him. He repeats in emphasis, “Nothing beats branding for anyone selling a service”
The last words
‘’As a Christian, marriages should be celebrated, marriage is a beautiful journey. Couples should however plan way beyond the wedding day, especially financially and emotionally. I encourage those procrastinating to walk down that church red carpet to the altar to take a step of faith, set dates, and leave the rest to God. For finances try as much as possible to live within your budget and desist from uncalculated borrowing,’’ he concludes, bringing our one hour seat down to an end.