Sabhuku Vharazipi cries foul
Renowned comedian, David Mubaiwa, who is affectionately known as Sabhuku Vharazipi in the arts fraternity, is crying foul about arts promoters who are giving a blind eye to the comedy sector, while giving all their attention to music.
He said even within the comedy sector, there is favouritism and nepotism as there is no room for other comedians, but the recycling of the same names when it comes to shows.
Some observers have attributed such a scenario to branding or lack of it, while others say promoters work with those who are trending as they have business to make money, not jokes.
However, the Masvingo based Mubaiwa, a village head of Mubaiwa village under headman Dzimba and Chief Bere said in an interview with The Herald Arts that the comedy sector was not booming in Zimbabwe because many promoters were elbowing it out and only focusing on sponsoring established comedians and those in the music sector.
The 50-year-old Mubaiwa said arts promoters should stop neglecting the comedy sector if they wanted to see it growing and being considered at international level.
“Our comedy sector was neglected for so many years, our promoters must turn their backs to our trade so that we can grow and even be considered on an international level,” he said.
The talented comedian said there was raw talent in comedy in Zimbabwe, but was lacking sponsorship.
He believes that if the sector is funded well it can compete at the international level and sell well.
“We have talent here in Zimbabwe, but funding is lacking, if we have more funding our industry can grow,” he said. “We can produce good content that can be sold on the international market.
“For so many times, our musicians are touring the Diaspora in countries like South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada and Australia, but it’s very rare to see our local comedians being given that slot.”
Sabhuku Vharazipi said promoters see the comedy sector as “useless” compared to other sectors.
“For so many times you can see that only musicians are only prioritised to perform in diaspora at the expense of us,” he said. “I think our promoters see our comedy sector as useless because it is very rare to see comedians being awarded that chance to perform in the diaspora.
“In my career I only saw Mai TT and Madam Boss being given that chance, but still for a few times.”
In Africa, there are so many countries that are doing very well in the film and comedy industry.
In Nigeria, Nollywood is among the best film producers in the world and it can compete with India’s Bollywood and America’s Hollywood.
Sabhuku Vharazipi thinks that if the film industry is funded well, it is possible that it can be one of the best film makers in the world considering the raw talent in Zimbabwe.
“If our own film industry is funded very well, it’s possible that it can be one of the best film-makers in the world,” he said. “We have raw talent here in Zimbabwe, but the promoters are suppressing us.”
The talented comedian said the local comedy industry can also create employment if it is funded well.
“In other industries, there are so many comedians who are having a decent life because of comedy,” he said. “I think if our industry is funded very well it can employ many people. Our promoters should consider now to sponsor that sector.”