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‘Political interference hindering development of wit’

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MUTARE — A South Africa-based Zimbabwean comedian Carl Joshua Ncube says the political atmosphere prevailing in the country is detrimental to the development of the arts industry.

Addressing journalists last Friday before holding a show at a local hotel, Ncube said political interference was hindering development of wit, adding most comedians thrived on political humour and satire.

But he said, doing so in Zimbabwe was too risky. “Our political landscape is not good at the moment,” Ncube said.

“This is a particular topic which is impossible to get into. This is different from South Africa where comedians can attack the political mess through jokes.

“Here in Zimbabwe you cannot do that and get away with it because people will not support you and they will get offended.

In South Africa you can joke about President (Jacob) Zuma and get away with it, but you cannot do it here,” he said. He also lamented poor support for artists involved in comedy and lack of resources.

“Zimbabwe has talent, but that talent is raw. It is difficult to support it here because there is no moral support for artists. Only a few artists are held in high esteem here and the challenge we have now is to teach the market how to respond to different forms of arts,” Ncube said.

Ncube added since he moved to South Africa he had received positive support and hoped to play a significant role in nurturing Zimbabwean talent. “I get training and criticism from South Africa.

I will then share that experience with my fellow colleagues here and I hope that in the next few years our industry will be better and negative perception will be changed.

“This is helping us because it will be easy to export our talent to other countries and get recognition,” Ncube said.

He said he had worked with many reputable artists around the world including the famous Nigerian comedian, Basket Mouth.

Ncube told NewsDay he was taking his expertise around the world and expects to tour 37 countries sometime next year.

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