Local stand-up comedy maturing

Local stand-up comedy maturing

Sabina ELago
Windhoek – The comedy industry has experienced significant growth over the years and comedians who spoke to Time Out’s attribute the growth the new talent that is being injected in the industry. Further, comedians say Namibians have come to appreciate stand-up comedy and are very supportive of the arts, buying the merchandises and t-shirts, to support local comedians.

Local stand-up comedians spoke of how the industry is alive and growing as “more comedians are getting corporate gigs and new blood being pumped into the stream, bringing growth into the industry”.

“People are warming and getting used to seeing comedians perform. I remember a time where you finish doing your set and you hear somebody saying ‘wow that was a very nice speech’,” said comedian Ndangi Iileka.

Iileka says their jokes are derived from day to day experiences living in the land of the brave and the comedians write their own routines. The public has been very supportive by coming out to watch live performances, and purchasing merchandise such as DVD, t-shirts, not to mention an increase in local subscription to YouTube, where people can stream the acts by local comedians.

“People love to laugh and comedy makes them laugh, it makes them happy. So they are very supportive of the art,” said another comedian Sibongile.

Iileka, a professional Electrical Engineer who runs a small engineering consulting firm, said he does not make a living from comedy but believes that with dedication, hard work and passion comedians can make a living from doing stand-up comedy.

“I thoroughly enjoy performing comedy. I like the fact that I can now travel and see places around the world while performing comedy. I would just like to do as much of that as I possibly can,” he said.

They vowed to take local comedy beyond Namibia and performing with comics from across Africa. “I want to make people feel good about themselves. And even more than that I want them to see themselves or even situations in a different light, in a way that makes them think and question and laugh,” said comedian Sibongile Tshabalala.

Free Your Mind stand-up comedy will be back with their regular first Thursday of the month show on Thursday February 2nd at the Warehouse Theatre.

Caption: Comedian Ndangi Iileka who by day is a professional Electrical Engineer and manages a small engineering consulting firm.

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