Below is a guest post from Chege blogging over at http://www.ghafla.co.ke on the state of comedy in Kenya.
I’ve been observing with both curiosity and amusement the on goings of the comic industry in Kenya. Comedy in Kenya has been around since time immemorial even before the yoke of colonialism through avenues such as riddles, short stories, myths, legends etc. After independence comedy started to evolve in the way of television sitcoms such as Vioja Mahakamani, Vitimbi. Also radio comedy began to manifest in shows such as Jee Huu ni Ungwana? Hosted by celebrated radio anchor Leonard Mambo Mbotela.
Fast forward to 2012. We now boast of a fully grown comic industry left, right and centre. From puppeteers in Nairobi streets to comedy shows on our screens such as XYZShow, Naswa, Churchill Live as well as comedy nights such as Night of a Thousand Laughs, Kenya Kona we have come from far. However a disturbing question that comes up is, do we really have comics in Kenya or just a bunch of people peddling tribal jokes?
A true comic is one who is able to get the audience laugh at jokes drawn from vastly different topics in the short span of time he or she has been allocated. A couple of comics are living true to this mantra and their progress has begun to get noticed. LoL, a comical television show that nurtures upcoming talent is making great strides in the industry. The comedy club show is also trying to carve out a new style of comedy in Kenya, I hope they succeed.
A couple of comics that you should watch out for include Alibaba, Willy Wex, Rapcha Tha Sayantist, Skeletronix, Aiyeya, JB Masanduku Junior amongst others who are causing ripples in the industry. It would be great if the Kenyan comics reached the heights of internationally renowned comic stars such as Katt Williams, Russell Peters and co.