Harare's Chikuwe Comedy Club Ushers in a New Era




There is a new kid in town! Chikuwe Comedy Club has opened in Harare! It has been a great experiment that has drawn in a lot of interest and support among various social groups.
Comedy has come a long way in Zimbabwe. The bus stop or the kombi has been the contemporary informal mobile platform for some rib-cracking comedy. While our culture believes so much in sharing anything, comedy sharing has been challenged by a historical ceiling in that it has never bypassed a certain level or certain social barriers. The sweet comedy has stayed in the kombi and a few fringes have been taken home and forgotten about after a few recitals. Neither has it gone international! Also, while comedy is enjoyed by many Zimbabweans, a few would actually consider being a comedian as a full time career. Social inhibitions and lack of confidence continue to be the main hurdle in comedy. A lot more room for development remains to be explored. Meanwhile the volcano of comedy continues to swell up ready to explode.
The stand-up comedy concept came up after a random thought process as four men (Tapiwa Kapurura, Brian Changachirere, Batsirai Mahaso and Wellington Chagadama) sat together to work out a better mode of comedy that meets the ever changing social dynamics. Zimbabwean comedy has had a very interesting timeline as it started back in the day with Mataka, Tiki and various other pacesetters who were later followed by the most famous Mukadota, Shogo and Mhekiya. Fast forward the comedy scene, Zimbabwe experienced another phase through characters like Paraffin, Gringo, Tobby and Madhumbe. Now we have the Bus Stop crew including the Pastor and Gonyet and a few other neighborhoods aspirants. It is all great stuff that we have had so far but more can still be done to brighten the urban night lights.
The most exciting feature about this whole comedy story is the revolution and evolution that has transpired over the ages to meet an expectant crowd. With that entire change, the only loophole has been that comedy has mainly remained a one way street. It has stayed not interactive. Only the television or radio channel have delivered comedy as a pre-recorded version for a remote audience that has no immediate or direct delivery, let alone feedback to the one on the stage.
With the world changing so fast, Zimbabwe has caught up with the global trends. Many now appreciate comedy and take it seriously from grassroots level. The Richard Pryor kind of standup comedy that started in the America of the 70s (and some other parts of the world) has finally hit us at home with a thud. People now crave that interactive experience. They need to see the comedian perform on stage. They must connect with the comedian’s words and action to the person. They need to relate real lifetime experiences from the comedian’s acts.
Live standup comedy or open microphone in a club, pub or bar has become the new trend. Patrons need laughter as they go on with their fun and drinks. Dancing should not be the only option. Mind you, these stand up comedies can be big lively business that also create a family friendly platform depending with the calibrated nature of jokes delivered. In this plan, all social groups are accommodated from Christians, adults, the youth and the elderly.
It is a new and promising day. The grass is green. The sun is shining. The ground is fertile for Chikuwe Comedy Club. We are set to soar high like eagles and feed our comedy-thirsty audiences. We have already lined up adequate ground tools that include diverse talent of comedians, real jokes with powerful punchlines and great sponsors too. This June, we hit the ground on live shows. Don't be strangers, follow us on twitter: @chikuwecomedy




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