A Night of A Thousand Laughs : Does Stand Up Comedy exist in Kenya?

Top Comedians from 4 African countries will be in Nairobi for  ‘A Night of  a Thousand Laughs’. The comedians will include Klint the Drunk from Nigeria, Gordon (Also from Nigeria), Pablo from Uganda, Tshepo Mogale of S.A and some Kenyan comedians who have not yet been disclosed. The comedy night will be at the Bomas of Kenya on 27th August, this is according to the Zuqka magazine. The same was confirmed on Tshepo’s Event’s Page.

I am a big fan of stand up comedy having collected the whole Def Comedy series as well as Chris Rock’s and lately the witty South African Comedian Trevor Noah.

Tshepo – A South African Comedian
(Photo courtesy of ermCorporate.com)

A while back, wrote a lengthy article cum review following the staging of Rapcha – The Sayantist at the Alliance Francaise back in 2009. The article also included my commentary on the lack of actual Stand – up Comedians in Kenya.

Things might have changed slightly since then with the Setup of a Churchill Academy for Comedy which has gone on to churn quite a number of comedians.

However, most cannot hold a 45minute leave alone a 1hour show alone as is the norm for most international stand up acts. Maybe it is due to the fact that there is only one platform existing – The Churchill Live Show which has to give equal opportunities to each act  or maybe they (Laugh Industry which produces the show) are unwilling to risk their neck by investing in one of them for a spin off or an alternate own show.

Rapcha was very promising and I gave a glowing  review. He did appear on Churchill Live a couple of times, mostly being given less than 5 minutes but he soon disappeared from the show and from doing any other own stand up shows. He is still at Ghetto Radio though.

As we look forward to the coming of stand up comedians from other countries, it will be interesting to see who will be put to represent the best in Kenyan Stand- up comedy. Now, I do not know who is organizing the event but if it is the Laugh Industry whose director is Dan Dambuki, then you can bet that it is his protegees who will be in the lineup.

Now, unless a miracle happens between now and  27th August for the big Night. Our comedians will go with the usual tribal, political, recycled jokes picked from other comedians and props of blackboards, suitcases and other paraphernalia  on stage. They will not only embarrass themselves but the country as a whole on an international stage( apparently, the event will be recorded for continental TV) and we will become the joke!

Now, won’t that be funny!

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