The Laff-A-Lot Comedy crew is back with a bang and a fresh new concept for their next event. According to Media Liaison Officer for Comedy for the Nation of Botswana, Gaolathe Kediemetse, “comedy shows play an important role as a platform for comedians to have regular shows and also make them marketable to the corporate world where they can make a living off comedy from regular bookings.”
The event’s venue sponsor is Khwest Cafe. “It must be noted that an event of this magnitude involves several costs from ground transport, sound system, DVD recording equipment, security etc.
Although financial help was sort from different organisations, companies and Department of Arts & Culture, none has been forthcoming”, says Kediemetse, who is also the event coordinator. “The main aim really is to spread awareness about standup comedy as an alternative form of entertainment that is abundant in Botswana. But the ultimate goal is help comedians turn their talent in to a livelihood”
The headliners for the show are Charles Manase and Bafana ‘Ribcracker’ Letsatsi. Ribcracker was one of the opening acts for top South African comedian Trevor Noah end of September. The Double Trouble event which will be held on Saturday 20th October 2012 at Khwest Cafe will also be captured on DVD.
Local standup comedy was on the road in August 2012 when they embarked on the second nationwide comedy tour. The Laff-A-Lot Comedy Tour was a 5-town comedy series (of Selibe Phikwe, Serowe, Jwaneng, Orapa and Gaborone), which elevated standup comedy to mainstream level in the country’s entertainment sector.
The tour was an initiative of COFONABO; an association set up in 2009 to promote standup comedy in Botswana. The purpose of the association is to develop and sustain a viable comedy industry in Botswana.
The general aim of the tour was to continue creating a deliberate interest in standup comedy within Botswana while celebrating the role of standup comedy in the entertainment industry.
According to COFONABO Secretary General, MOD, the aim with the Double Trouble event is to inspire and motivate more comedians to work hard so as to create a professional comedy sector in Botswana.
“Over the years that we have been involved in the President’s Day Arts Competitions, we realized that there is a greater need for comedy shows in the country.
There is plenty of talent out there and audiences react positively, but the problem is the competition comes once a year, and there is nothing else to help these comedians hone their skills.”
MOD believes that shows like the Double Trouble, Laff-A-Lot Comedy Tour and the previous International Comedy Day celebration provide a platform for comedians to gain and perfect the much needed practical skills.
The Laff-A-Lot Comedy crew is also planning a 1 Man Stand Up Comedy show for MOD titled “I was, I am, I will be”, slated for mid-November, as a follow up to Double Trouble.
The Chairman of COFONABO; Ribcracker adds that with all these DVDs produced, the comedians will be able to reach more audiences, and perform to new audiences as the DVDs will be distributed nationally.
“We have been inundadated with calls to host our shows in places like Maun, Orapa, Kasane, Jwaneng, Tshabong, Ghanzi, during our tour. We can reach some of these places with DVDs and create a strong following. We have great talented comedians in Botswana as shown through our performance at the Trevor Noah show.”, says Ribcracker.
MOD also points out that it is imperative for local comedians to showcase their talent so as to reduce the seemingly prevailing dependence on international comics, who he says most times, disappoint audiences with weak and irrelevant jokes.
According to MOD, the government is doing its part to encourage the growth of standup comedy in the country, but he believes more can be done.