Local comedians, Umbambi Ndiwenyu aka ‘Bambino’ and Modiri Keseabetswe aka MOD are expected to share the stage with two of South Africa’s gems in stand up comedy this month.
The two comedians are Trevor Gumbi and Kedibonye Mulaudzi, and they are performing in Botswana as part of the Soweto International Comedy Festival tour that makes a return to Maitisong Theatre. The event is slated to take place on August 19th and tickets are on sale at webtickets, Spar outlets and Maitisong for P200. For this show, no one under the age of 15 will be permitted into the venue for obvious reasons.
According to Ndiwenyu, the relationship between local comedians and their South African counterparts dates back to 2009, when Mulaudzi came to Botswana and shared with other comedians how they can grow the industry. He says that the relationship was rekindled in 2014 and the festival toured the country.
Mulaudzi, who strongly believes in giving a platform to upcoming comedians, gave the same platform to Ndiwenyu who went on to perform at the State Theatre, Soweto Theatre as well as Maseru, explains Ndiwenyu. “He is passionate about featuring both upcoming and well known comedians. And he believes that comedy should be appreciated by everyone,” he explains.
Quizzed on the standard of comedy in the country at the moment, he notes that four/five years ago, comedy was still lagging behind but that the scales have turned, and the industry is on a positive path as evidenced by the number of events that take place throughout the year.
“We have weekly comedy show at the President’s Hotel as well as the monthly events at Phakalane and other events at other parts of the country including Maun,” he says. One of the things that is leading to this positive tilt in the scales is that he and other comedians usually travel as a collective, and expose various audiences in the country to the talent found in comedy.
“For comedy to go beyond the President’s Day competitions, we must turn it into a lifestyle and go professional like what I am doing right now,” he says. At the event, Ndiwenyu will get to share his material conceived from his recent participation in the Soweto derby. Inspired by the many local fans of Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates who were on tier way to the game, he started to brainstorm some ideas right at the border.
Mulaudzi, who is the founder of Nubreed School of Comedy, will share his jokes in 3D - accompanied by pictures and sound. And those who have seen him in action, swear that this is one experience that all comedy lovers should see for themselves. Gumbi is not a newcomer locally. Over the years, he has performed at events that include the Kings & Queens of comedy, Oppikoppi, Blacks Only and Laugh out Loud to mention a few. His latest stint is as host of Friends like these on SABC 1 taking over from DJ Sbu. MOD has been around the block for a couple of years, headlining various events. And knowing how our conservative audiences sometimes become uneasy with certain topics like adult content, sexual orientation and death, MOD goes there and transports audiences with his sensibilities and finishes them off with fantastic punchlines.