Stand-Up Comic Takes Zim Laughter to the World

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha

Harare, Zimbabwe – IT’s not often that Zimbabwe is associated with laughter especially in light of the country’s decade-long political and socio-economic demise.

But stand-up comic, Carl Joshua Ncube, is set on a pioneering path to prove that Zimbabweans still value  good ole laughter and can get the rest of the world to laugh too. Ncube is currently embarking on a worldwide tour that will take him to different parts of the world. He said that he was embarking on the world tour in order to export Zimbabwean culture to the rest of the world as well as engage in cultural exchange and reposition the image of the country in the world consciousness.

Some of the cities that Ncube will take his comedy performance to include Lusaka, Blantyre, Nairobi, Kampala, Lagos, London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Dublin, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Amsterdam, New York, Texas, Los Angeles, Brisbane, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown, Durban and Johannesburg.

“I want to leave a cave painting in each city that I will visit which will show that there was one day that a comedian from a small country called Zimbabwe that made the world laugh,” he said.

Ncube’s repertoire of comedy consists of one-line jokes, anecdotes, punchlines, satire and off-the-cuff statements that are backed by sleek, high-tech presentations and hilarious commentary.

Already, his efforts have garnered world attention: Ncube made history recently by becoming the first Zimbabwean stand-up comic to be featured on CNN’s African Voices programming where he outlined why he is embarking on a journey to spread laughing gas round the globe.

“It was unreal – I expected CNN to be a huge monster but the crew was very gracious. They didn’t know much about the cultural vibe and revolution taking place in Zimbabwe,”  Ncube said of his appearance on the global television station.

Ncube said that the aim of his comedic act it to portray a Zimbabwe that is remove from the often repeated negative portrayal in the international media.

“For a long time, politics has been like a fashion trend in Zimbabwe, but as citizens we’ve our own part to play in influencing a new conversation. I am interested in proving that a comedian can be funny outside the realm of politics. We want to hear about hope and laughter – there’s so much more to Zimbabwe,” he said.

The stand-up comic revealed that part of what he is doing is to re-imagine and reshape the Zimbabwean identity which has undergone serious bashing over the past decade.

“If the arts simply focus on the politics then we’re doing ourselves a great disservice. We need to focus on things about love, hope and other things outside politics. I’m trying to paint a picture of Zimbabwe that our citizens can be proud of,” said Ncube.

He added that the paradigm shift taking place in Zimbabwe provided him with inspiration to craft his acts aimed at influencing the global culture.

“There’s a shift in thinking happening in Zimbabwe – there’s a new type of land reform taking place, albeit, in people’s minds. As a Zimbabwean, my aim is to contribute to the global culture so that if earth is destroyed today, there will be evidence of Zimbabwe in the global culture. “I want to take Zimbabwean culture to the world and occupy a place in the consciousness of the universe through laughter,” he said.

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