When Daliso Chaponda performed last Friday at the Victoria Gardens, I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that I was not going to miss the opportunity of seeing the Malawian dude who came third during the 2017 Britain’s Got Talent contest.
“He must make me laugh tonight. If he impressed all those azungus in Britain, he must impress me too,” I told myself as I got ready for the night of comedy.
I made my way to Victoria Gardens at around 7:50pm. I was greeted by an unusual heavy presence of cars from the old Colony Club Casino. Clearly, issues of lack of parking space came to play. Still I soldiered on. Upon arrival the well-organized Q Concept team welcomed me, gave me a press card and ushered me in.
Patience Namadingo’s voice greeted me. I found people inside laughing their lungs out and, clearly, they were having fun. As I made myself comfortable, I realized that Namadingo’s set was coming to an end. I had missed his comic set by a whisker!
Then he started playing his music. Boy, oh boy, the young man knows his stuff. The sound of his guitar made patrons nod their heads while clapping their hands rhythmically to his cords.
As he went into his third song, the unexpected but well-known occurrence in our homes happened—electricity went off. After the organizers set up alternative source of power Namadingo continued with his act. And in his hilarious way, he played a song that laments about power cuts saying he would like to know the guy who works at Escom, switching off and on electricity in our homes.
The song sent the hall into a frenzy. With that song, Namadingo took a bow. That is when I came to see the MC for the night—Mr Karl Ncube, a Zimbabwean comedian based in South Africa.
Meeting Karl Ncube
Ncube is a typical Zimbabwean who did not only MC the function but kept fans laughing with his relevant jokes. As he cracked jokes about his former president Robert Mugabe, I realized we did not have an MC on our hands but a full-fledged comedian who gave people nothing but fun. He openly joked about white people being bad dancers. With the audience evenly represented by people of all races, he freely joked about racism with class and fun in equal measure—no offence to anyone, really.
It was clear from his jokes that just like Malawians, Zimbabweans have suffered power outages and lack of other social amenities. And that made his jokes relevant to the Malawian audience.
“I am 38 years old and Robert Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years old. This feels strange,” he confessed as he commented on the fall of long-time ruler of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe.
Prince Chikweba the upcoming comedian
The young man, Prince Chikweba was plenty much unknown to the fun-loving Malawians before the Daliso Chaponda show. When he came on stage, he arrived with pomp—dancing to a hip hop song! He started his set by greeting the well-loved former mayor of Blantyre city Noel Chalamanda whom he referred to as his height-mate—both are short!
As far as I know that was the only thing he said that had people laughing. The rest of his jokes were too long exposing him as a young comedian indeed who still has a long way to go. His jokes also were more suited for an all-Malawian audience who are familiar with the tribal groupings here.
For example, he joked about Tumbukas being wordy people. Only typical Malawians understood him. As he left the stage, people clapped, and cheered him perhaps encouraging him and appreciating him for having tried.
Daliso, the comedian
Then the time came. The King of Laughfrica himself, Daliso Chaponda, made his entrance. I must admit, I shifted a few seats towards the front to catch the drift from the young man who made Malawi proud when he did well during the Britain’s Got Talent.
He made himself comfortable joking about his experience during the Britain’s Got Talent contest. As he continued to make us, his audience, laugh, he artistically started using his comic to talk about serious issues affecting the country. From electricity power cuts to racism and how religious beliefs are negatively affecting our country.
“I think we need to have a balance between a lot of God-God and education-education,” he said.
Daliso was never shy to use the F word in his comic. In fact, he used the word on more times than I can remember. Though a few comments on social media faulted him I was of the view that this was a night event meaning it ‘naturally’ rated itself as an adult event. The adults are surely not new to the F word!
The silent protest on Malawi’s hypocrisy as a God-fearing nation
I liked the way the comedian clearly showed the inconsistencies in Malawians. On the issue of blood suckers for example, it was clear that Malawians believed this story, yet it had no concrete evidence! The same nation claims to be God-fearing! He also pointed out on too much hate on social media against people we do not even know. He referred to his own experience where he was attacked for simply being his father’s son!
The comedy in Daliso
Though, I could sense seriousness in what he was saying, he never was short of humour. Every sentence that came out of mouth was laden with humour that kept us laughing until he bowed out of stage.
Did he impress? Yes. Was his language too offensive? I don’t think so. Is he as good as he is billed? Actually I think he is too good, a natural born comedian we have in Daliso!