Sometime last year on this very platform I highlighted and applauded the growth of comedy in our region.
I was deeply impressed by the fact that comedians in and around Bulawayo have a great sense and spirit for working together and coming up with very successful collaborative shows.
The arts industry is one characterised by a lot of selfishness at times. Individuals, groups and arts organisations speak a lot about working together, collaborating in projects and shows, but most of the time when the pudding is served, they rarely prove this by eating it.
It all boils down to different philosophies about what is good art and what is not, how the project should be conducted or not and of course down to the dollar power either in contributing it or sharing it. That is why we need to give it up and congratulate our local comedians.
Even if there may be backstage drama in some of their projects, it goes without say that we have not been at liberty to see it spoil their good work! Salute to the doctors who prescribe the best medicine, laughter!
Last week the comedy show and project Bulawayo Show was launched breaking new ground and making history too. I cannot remember when last our local cinemas were filled to capacity and some people were turned away until that show hit the big screen in the City of Kings.
There we all had it, in a city dubbed the ghost city when it comes to luring audiences especially with locally-brewed work and entertainment, the comic show defied these odds.
It is even important to note that this was not a launch by invite only, but the audience was paying! There we have it, musicians, dancers, actors and filmmakers and festival organisers. It is actually not far from reality to sell out a show in Bulawayo.
I am keen to ask for or even buy the recipe from organisers of the Bulawayo Show. Surely it was no magic or prophesy that their show was such a huge success. There is a lot they did right in putting up the event and we all need to learn from them.
I am informed due to public demand the show will be back at the cinemas in September and I can almost predict the fact that the first show was such a huge success will only catapult the forthcoming one. Curiosity is of essence when it comes to entertainment.
When everybody is talking about it, then everybody wants to see it for themselves.
This does not mean, however, that the comedians can now rest on their laurels and let the fame speak. The success of their show should inspire them to produce more, not just in quantity, but quality.
A good entrepreneur in the arts industry is one who is unique and always ready to bring some sort of revolution to the entertainment scene. We had watched, seen and even admired comedy animation from Disneyland and to be honest when I grew up the popeyes or opopayi as we called them then, were for kids and we never imagined them as adult entertainment.
Suddenly with the introduction of movies like Shrek and Ice Age in Disney and Hollywood, animation became entertainment for all age groups. Closer home South Africa introduced various brands of animation in local lingo and for some of us it was a great relief to relate to animation that tackled issues and matters that affected our day to day living.
The greatest achievement from Bulawayo Show has been to produce the first-ever Bulawayo or Zimbabwean based theme animation. The fact that these characters tackle matters from our neighbourhoods, our places of leisure and in the very tone of real Ndebele (not Zulu) is so refreshing and gives the fan base a sense of belonging.
The animations don’t even look like Barbie, in fact, the manner in which they speak, dress, and appear is typically local. They are homegrown. I know of so many people in the Diaspora who have fallen in love with the cartoons simply because they remind them of home.
The journey has just begun though and I would urge the corporate world to give their support to these fresh ideas.
There is a lot of potential being tapped in the new revelation and in my opinion with all systems well put in place and all the support rendered, these young people could place our city, our region and our country on the world map! Well done and congratulations to Zenzele Ndebele, Thabani Lunga, Sean Ndlovu and all those behind the Bulawayo Show! Keep walking!
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