Truth be told, Botswana comedy has just like a bottle of good vintage wine matured with time, as young and veteran comedians came out to put out their best jokes forward during the 4th annual #Hicofest simply dubbed Heavyweight International Comedy Festival this past Friday night at the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC).
The rib-cracking night featured comedians from Botswana among them Kelekwang ‘Rekunde’ from Maun, Onalenna ‘Zozo’ Mosweu of Dikhukhung, Moshi Rasegojwa from Tonota, Katlo ‘K-lo’ Lekgowe of Kopong and Boniface ‘Roy’ Tatolo from Xanagas while Clive Chigubhu represented Zimbabwe; Tapiwa ‘Taap The Guy’ Makaza came all the way from Namibia while headline acts was the duo of Mashabela Galane and Collen ‘Salesman’ Chepi from South Africa.
First up was the spectacled suit-wearing K-Lo who was pretty genuine on stage, and seemed eager for a one-man show. The snazzy look shows you are in a good space mate. He told several jokes among them one which dwelled on the nauseating plight of sharing your abode with a peeving and stubborn cockroach; a thing which most of us could all relate to. The crowd was in stitches throughout.
However, our favourite from him had to be the Justin Bieber – Sorry inspired joke where he mimicked Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Kitso Mokaila in relation to the vexing power outages and the defective Morupule B Power station.
The first half host, Ribcracker was also in his element thanks to his close to home jokes some of which centred on his home village, Mochudi as well as the Bakgatla tribe. Next to ascend the stage was Francistown-based comedian, Moshi who also proved his mettle thanks to his accurately calculated gags.
Yet another funny man was Zozo; an audaciously former security guard whose jokes will force one to burst into several bouts of laughter until tears of joy run down their cheeks in rivulets. This man is extremely funny, and trust me he doesn’t even try too hard to impress. He does this by simply being himself. The audience too was extremely captivated as demonstrated by their non-stop laughter across the filled to capacity hall.
His jokes simply focused on ‘rags to riches – poverty to wealth; from absolute obscurity to heights of fame – well in his case, from being a ‘sechurithi’ officer to now working for Orange and at the same time making a living out of tickling people’s funny bone.
A moving episode during the night of comedy had to be when a blind Thapelo Malani from Maitengwe took to the stage and put out his best jokes. The murmurs from the audience were positive. According to Major Moves Comedy; working with Thapelo who is stone blind is one way of embracing those with physical disabilities into their mould, nurturing them further and proving to everyone that they are just as capable as the rest of us.
The Barack Obama look-alike; Clive Chigubhu from Zimbabwe is legendary. His comical antics were sizzling funny. As the host of the #Hicofest second half, Chigubhu shined throughout with real jokes, some of which he took on President Robert Mugabe.
We must say, the night belonged to Collen ‘Salesman’ Chepi who dished out non-stop laughter courtesy of his Sepedi jokes. The Botsisa originator was in his usual element and throughout his performance, the hall was uncontrollably tickled. This man is unquestionably hilarious and he knows it too. At first glance you’d think he’s inebriated – but no, that’s how he likes to make an entrance!
The atmosphere at GICC was electric. The laughs were plenty and Mashabela Galane wrapped up the show with his sexually-laden puns. The award-winning vernacular comedian of Papago fame is amusingly uncouth and his jokes are not for the fainthearted. He took a swipe at Batswana men labelling their ‘joysticks’ miniscule; in between clowning about the challenges of sex after 40 as well as giving the audience a humorous pep talk on hitting their women’s G-Spot.
Overall, the night was fabulous, filled with the best acts both local and international comedy has to offer. DJ Khenzo and Anthem also kept the party going with their immaculate mixes. Well done Major Moves Comedy!