Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Hands off politics, Kansiime urges fellow comedians

By Kennedy Nyavaya | The Standard |

Respected Ugandan comic Anne Kansiime, widely viewed as the Queen of African comedy, has urged local comedians to do away with political content in their work to appeal to bigger audiences.

Celebrated Ugandan comedienne Anne Kansiime
Celebrated Ugandan comedienne Anne Kansiime

Kansiime, who is famed for short hilarious skits that have propelled her career to great heights, is in the country after she performed last night at the Harare International Conference Centre.

Responding to questions at a press conference on Friday, Kansiime said the reason why she never taps into political topics in her work is a “deliberate way to appeal to anyone” within standard community settings.

“I do not think by show of hands most of us here are interested in politics, so for you to appeal to a bigger crowd, you appeal to the things that apply to almost everyone,” she said.

While most local comedians have jostled to make fun of politicians’ uncouth conduct, the Ugandan suggested that they touch on general issues that affect everyone regardless of political affiliations.

“It is easy to make people laugh if you do not make them sit and scratch about the things that you are talking about because social problems apply to everyone,” she said.

“Whatever profession it is you are in, you know that you want to get back home and deal with the society within your reach so if you want to touch so many people you have to look for a subject that touches everyone.

“What I mean is, I am an entertainer and nothing else. The moment you try to make me something else, we are not friends.”

This is despite the fact that the Ugandan artist is from a country with a political environment similar to Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, Baba Tencen of the “Kuripwa Kugara” fame also concurred saying:

“Like I said before, some us are not politicians or anything but comedians who make people laugh in times of pain or happiness.

“Tomorrow [yesterday] is just different; even what we have organised is fit for the stage. We just want people to be happy because we know there are problems in the country but when we say comedy night, it is for people to forget a bit.”

On whether he can manage a full length show which is a bit tougher than short skits, the South African-based entertainer said he had been doing similar shows lately.

“I usually do shows in South Africa every week even at the Zimbabwe Embassy and most times at even bigger venues with a hugely foreign audience, but this side I have free length since people also relate to the language,” he said.

He also dismissed rising speculation on whether he will survive the cut-throat industry with his trade or if he will fall on the Uncle Richie short time wonder category, saying his unique art would soar through.

“The reason why we do not make it big in Zimbabwe is because we copy each other. People should not try to be like someone but rather do something different and all will work out well,” said Baba Tencen.

  • I think politics will actually bring you bigger audiences. It all depends what type of audience you want to attract

  • InI

    What an unenlightened perspective on the role of the artist. Thinking comedians exist in a vacuum away from political influence and thus should abstain from including political material in their repertoire is a very mistaken understanding. Any artist worthy of the name do not shun any influences on their lives as this is the lifeblood of any respectable works of art. In this way you reach the widest possible audience as you are dealing with the matters that affects everyone and you are being true to your experience in not censuring any influence or inspiration that the mainstream pseudo-artists evades for seeking a lighter and more accessible brand of art . Otherwise this fallacious belief that if you are not interested in politics it does not affect you is a sad misconception and misunderstanding of the geo-politic and socio-economic matrix that we encounter in our everyday lives. I understand that in countries of political turmoil true artistic expression is stifled and censored and that environment breeds two types of artist: the conformist who tows along the controversial political material taking care to not upset the powers that be and mostly steers clear of it to present a dull, uninspiring work devoid of experiential insight and usually intentionally mind deadening cheap laughs to divert the oppressed psyche from the present and stark reality to the illusory.

    • InI

      The second type artist is the one worthy of the name in that they do not filter any of their environmental influence and they bear the birth pains of true uninhibited expression although they might go against the grain of mainstream performers and peers. They also more often than not sincerely speak to the core of what the ordinary to the most privileged encounter in that society. They also face the opposition of the prevalent political powers because they evoke the spirit of unadulterated honesty in the people in their true representation of their experience through their works be it comedy, music drama or any of the varied forms of art. So each to his own, fair dues to her if she wants to keep playing to her paymasters’ tunes and churn out that brain dead so called comedy and not speak to the real issues; but she should not discourage the brave and real artists from a true and complete expression of what rings true to them. She obviously is not even aware of the most greatest and iconic of her predecessors in that field were some of the most politically and socially conscious in their acts because as true artists they were at their best a reflection of their environments.

  • It can but in this case it might affect your work negatively coz fans have their differences wen it comes to political affiliations

  • wrong again

  • world renowned comedians don’t avoid any subject

  • Say that to Trevor Noah

  • Kaduzvi

  • Stupid and pathetic Anne Kansiime.

  • Trevor Noah has increased his audience by making jokes abt Trump, Mugabe, Malema etc….politics is at the helm nowadays, offcoz to only thoz who understand politics like the educated, elite nation like Zimbabwe.#ProudlyEducated

  • She is from Uganda so understand her position kkkkk

  • Haaa she is afraid of Museveni

  • Comics tell the truth,with some humor,anything less than the truth is a lie

  • Who are you to tell us .just a comedian nxaa

  • cz she is from another asshole M7

  • It’s like anosapota Zanu

  • nxaaa

  • I disagree, comedy is also a vehicle to convey political information to those needing it! Also educates prospective voters of who to vote for if they are political informed!

  • Fusek waguta manje,vane nzara

  • dzoka kuUganda

    pfutseki kapenzi!!

  • lot chitakasha

    Satire and comedy are like a sugar coated pill and if both used well can correct some of the ills of society, political ills included.

  • Birdsong Little Elk

    Tell that to Museveni. Everyone who comes to Zimbabwe enjoy themselves so much that they do not understand they are visiting and that they are being feasted because someone is making money off bad situations.
    This little girl should take her comedies elsewhere; we are too sad to laugh. Maybe she is happier in Uganda with Museveni. Please do not come back.

  • Tanonoka Joseph Whande

    A young girl from an oppressed nation comes to a nation of oppressed people and tells them to ignore the political impact on their lives…just laugh…
    Why does she keep coming back?
    Ah, but they always do. We have seen that with sub-standard so-called musicians from DR Congo; now this.
    I see Chiyangwa’s hand in this. Goodluck Phillip…or is it Jonathan?

  • its a joke.thus wat thy do wen out of stock jus waffle and fart

  • this miss is one of Idi Amini many children thus y nxa

  • Haa but kana dzichi nakidza politics dzacho ungaite sei!!you cant resist😂

  • Munhu zivazvawafambira

  • Kyle Broflovski

    I do not see the humor in anything this lady does.

    • Ndini

      Thought it was just me. She actually irritates me