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Zimbabweans Turn to Comedy As Economic Woes Bite

Ugandian comedian Anne Kansiime.
Ugandian comedian Anne Kansiime.

Ugandan comedian Anne Kansiime is expected in Zimbabwe on Thursday for a comedy show that will be held at the 7 Arts Theatre in Avondale on Saturday.

A member of the show’s promotion team, Tonderai Mwaita of Extra Time Entertainment, told VOA Studio 7 the show has already sold out with fans asking them to stage another to cater for those that didn’t manage to buy their tickets on time.

"We are really grateful for all the support we have received from our fellow Zimbabweans. Our show is already sold out and there are calls for us to stage another one on Sunday but this we will have to talk to our performers when she arrives to see if they are willing to postpone their departure so we can cater for those who were not able to get their tickets on time," said Mwaita.

Kansiime is credited for writing her own narrative when it comes to comedy and depiction of the African life in a humorous way.

She has also been credited for using social media effectively in promoting her work when she is not doing live shows like the one to be held in Zimbabwe.

She currently has over a million views on some of her comedy plays and skits she performs and posts on YouTube and other social platforms.

Mwaita said he is overwhelmed by the response from comedy fans in the country, adding that 80% of those that bought tickets and will be attending the show are young girls and women showing that they are eager to support their fellow women folk although there are also some men who will be attending on Saturday.

"Our research shows that 80% of those that bought tickets for Anne's show on Saturday are female and a few males showing that women are keen to promote each other and hopefully we will also have some female comedians now coming forward to do this work full time after they see that this can be a live hood they can pursue," said Mwaita.

Born on April 13, 1987 in Kabale, Uganda, the 28 year-old was named Kansiime Kubiryaba Anne. She is now popularly known as Anne Kansiime. She is an entertainer, comedian, and actress.

She has been referred to as "East Africa's Queen of Comedy" by some East African media outlets. She is married to Gerald Ojok and attended Makerere University in Uganda.

International shows like Saturday's comedy show have been receiving a lot of support from locals despite the harsh economic environment as people seek comic relief to ease some of their daily challenges.

"The requests for another show are overwhelming. My phone has been ringing off the hook with people asking us to stage another one but if we are not able to secure it we will definitely arrange future shows to cater for comedy fans," said Mwaita.

Tickets for the show were ranging from $20 to $30 but this did not deter the comedy fans who were able to buy the tickets on time and will enjoy the show on Saturday in Harare.

Interview with Tonderai Mwaita
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