Mthabisi Tshuma, Showbiz Reporter
Preparations for the inaugural Kwantuthu Comedy Festival are well underway with students who have been given a platform to showcase their talents, raring to go.
The festival that is taking place at different venues in Bulawayo will run from October 27 to 29 under the theme “This is For You”. The event is all about comedy, be it comedy in theatre, film, visual arts, or spoken word.
On the second day of the festival, there will be a combination of stand-up comedy and theatre productions. Among the productions will be a 10-minute long high school drama by Bulawayo Dominican Convent High School and a five-minute stand-up comedy performance by newcomer Tapiwa Harinangoni – a Petra High School student.
Harinangoni said he has been rehearsing hard so that he brings his A-game to the event.
“Preparations for the show are going on well as I’ve been working on my set since August. I’ve put a lot of thought into the jokes and I’m confident in my set. The audience must come prepared to laugh at jokes based on the daily events that we overlook as humans,” he said.
“It’s an honour to be the only teenager performing among big names in comedy across Africa. Having the privilege to share the stage with Jasen Mphepo really means a lot to me as an up-and-coming comedian,” he said.
Lucy-Anne Kahwema, the Dominican Convent High School drama club vice president, said anticipation among the students is at fever pitch.
“Preparations are well on course. There’s so much enthusiasm about the production. It’s an exciting opportunity that we’re relishing and the audience can expect a real treat, something fresh, fun and daring, yet loaded with meaningful lessons.
“We’re humbled to have been considered and ecstatic at this opportunity to share the stage with gurus. We intend to maximise the chance and use it as a stepping stone to greater endeavours,” said Kahwema.
The festival’s opening night at the Zimbabwe Music Academy will feature stand-up comedians and poets and will be hosted by Maforty. Performing acts will be Gabbi (Zambia), Tanya Alex (Harare), Chesta (Bulawayo), Charlie (Botswana), Mbongeni (Bulawayo) and Ntando Van Moyo (Bulawayo).
On the final day, there’ll be a search for a new crop of comedians. The free event will be held at Mzilikazi Youth Centre. On the same day, a show named Roast of Africa will be held at the Zimbabwe Music Academy. The roast master will be Babongile Sikhonjwa. Other acts are TT Pasha (South Africa), Masapo (Lesotho), Bambino (Botswana), Mdura (Swaziland) and Chingliz (Zambia). – @mthabisi_mthire