Comedians billed to set Kwest Café ablaze
by Calistus Bosaletswe
Local comedians are billed to set Kwest Café ablaze today, (Sunday) when they descend on Gaborone to join the world in celebrating the International Comedy Day, which Botswana will be celebrating here for the first time.
Comedians that are expected to brace the celebrations are Modiri ‘MOD’ Keseabetswe (Tlokweng) and Goodwill ‘Goodie The Badd’ Tlokwe from Serowe. The two are stand-up comedy pioneers whose names are familiar to many comedy followers in the country.
Comedy for the Nation of Botswana (COFONABO) Media Liaison Officer, Gaolathe Kediemetse, noted that the show will be one of the best comedy shows under the comedy calendar in Botswana.
Kediemetse promised that the show will also feature well-known names in comedy circles, such as Maun-based comedian, Jacob Tshweneyagae, and Bafana ‘Ribcracker’ Letsatsi from Mochudi, as well as upcoming talented comedian, Odirile Brooks, who is the champion of 2011 President Day Comedy Competition.
He noted that other comedians billed to attend the celebrations are Unoda, also known as the 1st Lady from Francistown, Shima Nnanaakoko from Molepolole, Oefile Mokgware from Gabane and a surprise guest performer.
“Every year, July 1st is International Comedy Day. The day was first commemorated 32 years ago and was designated to highlight the uniqueness and value of comedy. In many countries the International Comedy Day celebrates the contributions of comedians in the popularization of theatre. This is why most events created to celebrate this day feature stand up comedians,”. Said Kediemetse. “This, in many respects, is recognition of the view that effective merchants of comedy and the most successful theatre practitioners in the whole world today are stand up comedians. It is also an indication that stand-up comedy is the fastest growing theatre art form as can be demonstrated by the emergence each year of very viable comedy festivals.”
He emphasized that the celebrations will be used as another platform in creating a deliberate interest in stand-up comedy within Botswana, while celebrating the role of stand-up comedy in the entertainment industry.
According to COFONABO Secretary General, Modiri Keseabetswe, the commemoration will be used as a build up to the upcoming Laff-A-Lot Comedy Tour.
Keseabetswe believes that shows like the International Comedy Day and upcoming Laff-A-Lot Comedy Tour will provide a platform for comedians to gain and perfect the much needed practical skills.
“The main aim really is to spread awareness about stand-up comedy as an alternative form of entertainment that is abundant in Botswana. But the ultimate goal is to help comedians turn their talent into a livelihood,” said Keseabetswe.
He is hopeful that the upcoming Laff-A-Lot Comedy Tour, which is set to kick start in August, will inspire and motivate more comedians to work hard in their pursuit in creating a professional comedy sector in Botswana.
Keseabetswe also stated that there is a need to develop the local talent and desist from overdependence in international comics, who he says most times disappoint audiences with weak and irrelevant jokes.
Keabetswe praised the government for its commitment in encouraging the growth of stand-up comedy in the country.
He said that comedy is a very effective form of entertainment that can be used to relieve stress in events such as workshops and conferences.
COFONABO Chairman, Bafana Letsatsi, known as Rib Cracker, emphasized that there is a need to take comedy shows to places such as Maun, Orapa, Kasane, Jwaneng and Ghanzi.
"We have been flooded with calls to host our shows these places during our initial tour. We have great talented comedians in Botswana. We received more bookings after putting up a wonderful show in Selebe-Phikwe in December last year,” said Letsatsi.
He explained that a local stand-up comedy took a major leap in October 2011 when they held the first ever nationwide comedy tour dubbed Laff-A-Lot Comedy Tour.
Letsatsi noted that a Laff-A-Lot Comedy Tour was staged in areas such as Selibe Phikwe, Palapye, Francistown and Gaborone. He was happy that the shows have elevated stand-up comedy in the country.
He added that the shows were part of (COFONABO) and aim to promote stand-up comedy in Botswana.