Zimbabwe: Simuka Comedy Festival Begins

27 November 2020

All is set for the inaugural Simuka Comedy Virtual Festival, which runs from today until Sunday, presenting the best in national and regional stand-up, improvisation, video skits and sketch comedy.

According to the organisers, the festival will present comedy workshops and symposiums which will be hosted by various local and regional comedians, panellists and comedy stakeholders.

The three-day marathon of non-stop laughter from all comedy genres will coincide with the 10th anniversary of Simuka Comedy.

In an interview, show organiser, comedian cum actor Doc Vikela, said all was set for the show with a great line up ahead.

Vikela said the goal of the festival was to celebrate comedy in all its forms, including film, stand-up comedy, theatre, sketch comedy and parody.

"The festival will also play a role of networking with various comedy stakeholders and comedians around Africa, promoting collaborations," he said.

"The festival kicks off today and we are ready for action packed laughter and fun via virtual platforms. The Simuka Comedy Festival will present "Simuka Phakama", an 11-episode recorded stand-up comedy series featuring Zimbabwe's comedy hard hitters, with names like Vikela, Clive Chigubu, Ntando Van Moyo, Munya and Bhutisi celebrating the 10 years of funny in all various forms of comedy.

"We will also bring "I'm Funny Too" which will present online workshops and video skits from aspiring comedians from Bulawayo, Gweru and Harare."

Vikela said the festival will feature comedians from other countries including Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, United Kingdom and Zambia, in a move to collaborate with international comedians to promote the comedy sector.

He said the festival will be broken down into three days, with each day having its own theme.

"On the three days, each day will be dedicated to certain issues, thus today "Farai-Day", is for female comedians, while tomorrow will be "Satire-Day", which will present satirical content throughout the day," said Vikela.

"The final day is dubbed "Sunny-Day", which will bring all various forms of comedy on the day. The programme will also include online discussions, masterclasses and screening of short comedy video skits from renowned comedians."

It will be livestreamed on the Simuka Comedy social media channels and they have partnered with the Culture Fund through the European Union, Hivos, Magamba TV and Zimbabwean German Society.

Simuka Comedy has also brought comedy projects like "Special Class", "Vakuru" and "PaTown" under their theme for the year -- "Rise Again -- Simuka Futi -- Phakama Futhi".

The organisation made a call for locals to join them in celebrating local comedy, as they re-introduce the Zimbabwean comedy scene to the world through cultural exchange between local and international stars.

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