Every African comedian is somewhat inspired by Trevor Noah, an ordinary African boy, who began his comedy shows in Durban South Africa, and is now one of the most famous people in the world.
From growing up in Apartheid South Africa, to hosting the Daily Show and the Grammys with a net worth in the tens of millions of dollars. Trevor has been a beacon of hope for many Africans.
Stand up comedy is a huge entertainment industry with names like Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence and Dave Chappelle known as household names.
Zimbabwe, over the past ten years has witnessed a steady rise in this artform.
Gifted individuals have begun making a living and pursuing comedy seriously (pun intended) as a career.
Arguably, the biggest name to emerge from Zimbabwe’s stand up comedy scene is Carl Joshua Ncube, who toured several countries, was featured by CNN and even had a TED TALK.
Not to be outdone is Alfred Kainga, the United States based comedian who has performed both locally and abroad with tickets being occasionally sold out.
Mr Kainga says comedy is an overlooked industry with the potential to contribute significantly to the country’s economy.
One of Zimbabwe’s most treasured Stand up comedians has to be Learnmore Jonasi, popularly known as Long John the comedian, he won the Steve Harvey people’s choice award at the stand up spotlight competition.
Long John is now working with Steve Harvey on several productions including “I can explain” in which he explains African values in his usual comic way.
Most Zimbabweans however do not know that there is a new voice in town, his name is Chik Aljoy, he is a Zimbabwean making waves in South Africa. His performance is unique in that he is a ventriloquist and is able to use puppets and play with sound trajectories.
Zimbabwe’s comedy has gone full circle, from the days of great comedians like Edgar Langevelt to the recent voices of Comic Pastor and Nigel Slick Maritinyu, it is time that stand up comedy gets the respect it deserves.
With African acts such as Trevor Noah, Basket Mouth, Michael Blackson and Anne Kansiime becoming ambassadors of their nations and becoming entertainment entrepreneurs in their own right, Zimbabwe stand up comedy is ready to take things to the next level.