|Hats off to Simuka Zimbabwe|
|Thursday, 05 July 2012 10:33|
Simuka Zimbabwe’S comedy show held on June 29 to mark the organisation’s anniversary celebrations at the Zimbabwe German Society venue, in Harare’s Milton Park, was a vivid demonstration that this theatrical genre is burgeoning firmly.
More than 200 people who were thrilled by a huge dose of varied humour delivered by a 10-member cast of stand-up comedians from Bulawayo and Harare for more than two hours clearly showed from their enthusiastic applause that this theatrical entertainment was pleasing and was of appropriate quality, meaning and value.
Ten comedians and two hours of laughter can itself be a tough assignment if the comic material lacks the rich diversity of content and presentations that gets the audience glued to their seats.
From the type of vehicles parked outside the venue, the audience was the type that would not find it difficult to abandon an unsatisfying theatrical entertainment.
I sat next to Last Munetsi, who had never been to a stand-up comedy show before and who had been made aware of the event by a workmate.
Zimbabwe in Epworth.
His clean language stuff was mature, versatile and most marketable.
Ncube exhibited the valuable experience he has gained from his world tour where he also gained comedy language that must be well known to his patrons on the world tour but which tends to be difficult for the local audience to patronise comfortably.
His timing and ability to read the mood of his audience and to select suitable material from his inexhaustible bag of jokes is his major asset.
Harare to make an action film featuring the most sought after world leading action movie stars such as Matt Damon and Jackie Chan.
The other two Bulawayo-based comics, Clive Chigubu and General Nthando, were equally thrilling even though their choice of material and language created some uneasy among the audience. The three Harare-based masters of comedy who make up the backbone of Simuka Zimbabwe — Doc Vikela, Uncle Sam, Simba the Comic King and Michael Kudakwashe — were amusing and clearly showing the consistent growth and awareness of their role as custodians on this burgeoning industry.
The audience at this show is the type, quality and size the theatre industry is yearning for. This was a highly participatory audience that embraced the content enthusiastically and critically and very tolerant of the diverse artistic point of view and poetic licence in stand-up comedy.
It must be appreciated that while Simuka Zimbabwe has built a formidable following mainly in Harare, the type of audience that creates a viable and sustainable theatre industry, this genre of theatre tends to produce audiences which are not prepared to consume stale and over recycled jokes.
This means that in between shows the comics must be busy creating new material especially if future shows are going to be patronised by the same committed fans.
Choosing Maneta as the celebrity to “roast” in two-hour comedy was good strategy but that roasting should not have assumed characteristics of disrespectful use of a celebrity to advance a comic act
It should be handled with extreme caution and high level of self-censorship on the part of the comedians. Well done, Simuka Zimbabwe!