Ugandan Comedian Joseph Opio Makes History with Double Emmy Wins

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Ugandan comedian and writer Joseph Opio has secured an unprecedented two Emmys in a single calendar year, making history in the world of television. Opio’s exceptional work on “The World According to Football,” a five-part documentary narrated by South African comic Trevor Noah, earned him the 2024 Sports Emmy for Outstanding Writing — Long Form. This accolade was presented at a glamorous ceremony in New York City on Tuesday.

Opio’s victory in the Sports Emmys, which celebrate the best in American sports broadcasting, is particularly noteworthy. He triumphed over industry giants such as HBO and ESPN, marking a significant milestone in his career. “The World According to Football” is not only Opio’s debut in documentary filmmaking but also the first collaborative project between him and Noah outside of their work on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”

In his acceptance speech, Opio expressed gratitude to Trevor Noah, saying, “I want to thank my good friend Trevor Noah, not just for narrating this docuseries, but also for allowing me to shamelessly ride his coattails from the very first day we met.” His heartfelt acknowledgment extended to His Royal Highness the King of Buganda, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi, and Queen Sylvia Nagginda. “Ssabasajja Kabaka awangale,” Opio declared, meaning “Long live the King,” followed by a tribute to the Queen in his native Luganda language.

In an exclusive interview with New Vision, Opio shared insights into his journey. “I was born and bred in Kampala,” he said. “I grew up strictly speaking Luganda. Even if I earn a living writing in English now, I still think and dream in Luganda.” Opio began his career with the satirical program “LOL Uganda,” which premiered on Urban TV in 2012. After two successful seasons, he relocated to New York City to pursue comedy further. His talent caught the eye of Trevor Noah at the Comedy Cellar, leading to his hiring for the first season of “The Daily Show.”

Opio’s remarkable achievement is a testament to his talent and hard work. With over 1,200 episodes of “The Daily Show” under his belt, his foray into documentary filmmaking with “The World According to Football” has set a new standard in sports storytelling. His unique voice and perspective have resonated globally, and his double Emmy win underscores the significant impact of his work.

This historic win not only elevates Opio’s status in the entertainment industry but also shines a spotlight on Ugandan talent on the international stage.

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