BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
AWARD-WINNING comedian Victor “Doc Vikela” Mpofu said local jest masters would never compromise on their call to bring satire and laughter to their clients even in the face of intimidation and arrest.
Doc Vikela, whose Simuka Comedy has gained significant traction in showbiz after affording both seasoned and emerging comedians a platform to shine as they showcase their talents, was responding to the recent arrest and alleged abduction of fellow comedian Samantha “Gonyeti” Kureya.
“We can’t compromise when it comes to humour. The moment we deprive ourselves the right to make people laugh as comedians is the moment we cease to be comedians or satirists,” he told NewsDay Life & Style.
The entertainer said despite attempts to criminalise and subjugate humour, they would not be intimidated in their quest to make people laugh.
With the world having celebrated the World Mental Health Day last week, comedy has been cited as an antidote against depression, particularly in Zimbabwe where ordinary people are facing unprecedented socio-economic hardships that often lead to depression.
Doc Vikela said he was happy that Simuka Comedy, a comic ensemble he founded alongside fellow renowned comedian Simba “The Comic King” Kakora in 2011, has arguably remained the country’s leading premium comedy brand.
The jester said comedy was steadily growing in the country as evidenced by an increase in the number of participating comedians laughing their way into the limelight.
He singled out Reps Theatre and Zandis as some of the finest comedy spots in the country.
“Comedy is slowly, but positively growing and for now the best spot for comedy is Reps Theatre upstairs.
“We are having sold out shows monthly. Other venues are catching up with Zandis having always been awesome as we have never flopped at Zandis,” he said.
“Every month end, Simuka Comedy brings a week of top-notch laughter through its franchise, Comedy Nights, across Harare with every last week of the month being Simuka Week.”
The outfit has not only been the driving force behind the country’s comedy industry, but it has also given rise to a number of great comedians and unearthed new talent.
Local stand-up comedy is currently making strides at a regional and international level with local comics, among them Carl Joshua Ncube and Long John, being invited to perform at international festivals.