Zimbabweans too scared to laugh
By Sharon Muguwu
HARARE – Comedian Doc Vikela says Zimbabweans are scared to laugh at political jokes by stand-up comedians.
The comedian — real name Victor Mpofu — said he noticed this from the time he started telling political jokes back in 2011.
“People are scared. I did a President Robert Mugabe joke in 2011 but it’s being celebrated now,” he said. “It’s only being celebrated after it was mentioned in an article by the Guardian UK.”
The joke goes like “Zimbabweans, for all our literacy with a 99,9995 percent literacy rate, we are the only country that will fail to answer a simple question: who is your former president?”
Doc Vikela says at the time he made the joke, he found that most people were too scared to repeat it.
“I started saying political jokes in 2011 but I stopped. I found that people were not too comfortable with that. I later resumed in 2013 and I have been saying all kinds of jokes since then,” he said.
He said it is not only the audience that is scared but the industry as well.
“The comedy industry is growing but people are scared. People have had fear instilled in them for too long, they have a fear of the unknown really. People are afraid to say things that might possibly get them in trouble,” he said.
The comedian takes a no-holds-barred approach and tackles day-to-day issues.
Just recently,he made a joke about Miss Zimbabwe’s nude pictures, saying his grandmother also wanted to see them.
This comes as the Zimbabwe Peace Project noted in its latest report that Zimbabweans “are not free to discuss issues relating to the current economic environment which has a bearing on their well-being, factionalism in Zanu PF or Zanu PF leaders.”
“While criminal charges may not be brought against an individual, however, what is clear is that Zimbabweans are intolerant of other people’s differing opinions,” ZPP said in the report.” Daily News