Stadia ban provides fodder for jesters

CONFEDERATION of African Football (CAF)’s ban of local stadia — the National Sports in Harare, Barbourfields in Bulawayo and Mandava — from hosting international soccer matches has attracted the attention of local comedians who have started creating skits around the issue.

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO

Comedians under the Simuka Comedy banner recently posted pictures on social media where they were introduced holding soccer jerseys as they stood by a maize field.

The pictures were captioned, “In response to the NATIONAL STADIUM DEBARCLE we are proud to announce that SIMUKA COMEDY has stepped in to give Zimbabweans a NATIONAL TEAM of Comedy as well as VENUES where the public can pay to come and watch their NATIONAL team the #LOLiers performing! HERE are our new signings.”

This followed CAF’s ban of the country’s national stadia after inspections done in November last year.

Simuka Comedy’s new spokesperson Carl Joshua Ncube, yesterday said the pictures were an innovative way of introducing the comedians and administrators meant to show the business side of comedy.

“Stand-up comedy is serious business with deliberate intent which has seen the growth of the industry from 2010 and now boasts of comedians based internationally and touring the world, plus a platform for new talent that has introduced names like Tinaye Wayne, Kadem, Ian Phiri, Ckanyiso amongst many others,” he said.

“The new administrative teams will now have a focus of taking comedy to the next level by growing the laugh ratios of the comedians, running their own comedy venues, aligning outreach projects according to the Sustainable Development Goals as set by the United Nations. This should help grow the manner in which the comedy voice can be used to speak on issues like equal pay and equal opportunities, comedy for good, educational uses of comedy, gender equity and justice.”

The comedians have joined thousands of soccer-loving Zimbabweans who have continued to express their anger through different platforms that include social media about the stadium ban.

The ban is likely to force Zimbabwe International Football Association (Zifa) to look for alternative venues outside the country’s borders for all national teams’ assignments, starting with the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Group H qualifier against Algeria at the end of March.

Meanwhile, Simuka comedy has announced its inaugural festival set to roar to life from the November 26 to 29 featuring local, regional and international comedians, workshops and symposiums.

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