By Sindiso Dube
Bulawayo’s first comedy club, Umahlekisa, says they will be launching a comedy tourism drive as part of their eighth anniversary celebrations.
The celebrations will be held at Silwane Reserve in Umguza on May 1. The jamboree will feature performances from Mandla Da Comedian, Luchi Shiki, Zwe, Ms Dee, Blek Hit, rapper Pre Yung, Amasald eLokshini, Reilo and Simz, songstress Qeqeshiwe, Fab G, Siza Mdlongwa, Mengezi the Magician, Babongile Skhonjwa and Ntando Van Moyo , among others.
The comedy club was established on March 3, 2013 by Van Moyo as a way to give stand-up comedians a platform to grow and flourish. They have nurtured the likes of Mandla Da Comedian, Ckhanyiso That Guy, Ms Dee, Maroosh, Long John, Chik Aljoy and many more.
Reflecting on their journey, Umahlekisa founder Van Moyo said the comedy club started off as a movement to safeguard comedians and provide a platform where they could showcase their talent as they were seen as a subaltern genre and exploited in the arts industry.
“The anniversary is just a reflection of the trajectory that we will be taking this year 2021, in line with diversifying our operations. We will be maintaining the usual Kasi [Ghetto] shows named Stokvels as well as the shows that we host in the central business district of the city.
“For us, taking the celebrations to Silwane Reserve at Umguza is another step that we are taking using comedy as a tourist attraction and we are looking at doing more of these trips in tourist attraction areas in and around Bulawayo and beyond as the year progresses. It’s just a milestone in launching our comedy tourism drive and we thought it’s a unique and nice way to launch it as part of our eighth year celebrations,” Moyo said.
The comedy club has a behind-the-scenes team that has been working hard to see through the eight years that includes Dalu Van Vodloza Sibanda (promotion and artistes’ liaison), Nhlalo Dube (marketing), Ntando Van Moyo (administrator), Nomsa D (recruitment), Mandlenkosi Dube and Ezra Taruvinga (marketing).