IN an effort to celebrate the growth of the local comedy industry, several local comedians are set to share the stage with top global jesters at the inaugural three-day Simuka Comedy Virtual Festival that roars to life on November 27 and ends on the 29th.

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO

Fans are in for a treat and will laugh all the way at the festival being organised by comic ensemble Simuka Comedy in partnership with Culture Fund under the sponsorship of the European Union, Hivos, Magamba TV and Zimbabwean German Society.

The festival will be streamed live on Simuka Comedy’s Facebook and YouTube platforms due to global COVID-19 pandemic which forbids large gatherings.

Simuka Comedy co-founder Victor “Doc Vikela” Mpofu (pictured) told NewsDay Life & Style yesterday that the festival would help promote collaborations and networking among various comedians across the globe.

“The Simuka Comedy Virtual Festival is a three-day marathon of non-stop laughter as comedians from all genres entertain people from the comfort of their homes. The festival will present the best in national and regional stand up, improvisation, video skits and sketch comedy,” he said.

The award-winning comedian said the festival would also hold comedy workshops and symposiums to be hosted by local and regional comedians, panellists and stakeholders in the comedy sector.

“To celebrate 10 years of fun in various forms of comedy, Simuka Comedy Virtual Festival will present Simuka Phakama, an 11-episode recorded stand-up comedy series featuring Zimbabwe’s comedy gurus like Doc Vikela, Clive Chigubu, Ntando Van Moyo, Munya and Bhutisi,” he said.

“The festival will also bring I am Funny Too which will present online workshops and video skits by aspiring comedians from Bulawayo, Gweru and Harare. The programme will include online discussions, master classes and screening of short comedy video skits from renowned comedians.”

Doc Vikela said the festival would also feature comedians from countries such as Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, United Kingdom and Zambia in a bid to collaborate with international comedians.

“The festival will be broken down into three days, the opening day, Friday November 27 is the Farai-Day, which is dedicated to female comedians. Saturday November 28 will be Satire-Day, which will present satirical content throughout the day. The last day Sunday November 29 will be Sunny-Day, that will bring various forms of comedy on the day,” he said.

Doc Vikela said the festival would also be a celebration of the growth within the local comedy scene.

“As Simuka Comedy we have also brought comedy projects like Special Class, Vakuru and PaTown and under the theme for the year Rise Again – Simuka Futi — Phakama Futhi, we have made a clarion call to all Zimbabweans to celebrate local comedy as we re-introduce the Zimbabwean comedy scene to the world through cultural exchanges between local and international stars,” he said.

Simuka Comedy was founded by Doc Vikela alongside fellow renowned comedian Simba “The Comic King” Kakora in 2011, and has arguably remained the country’s premium comedy brand.

The comic ensemble has gained significant traction in the showbiz industry, affording both seasoned and emerging comedians a platform to shine as they showcase their talent.
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