There is nothing better than a good laugh to help one get through the difficult times of life.
In the face of Covid-19 pandemic, people are particularly sad as they are encouraged to stay indoors to be safe. Naturally, people love to socialise.
In such a difficult environment, people need something to brighten up their day.
With the advent of smartphones, there is an influx of hilarious videos trending, giving people something to laugh and smile about as a way of brightening the mood and relieving stress.
Currently, there are so many funny videos making rounds on social media.
But some videos trending on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram are definitely more creative than others. For instance, a young man named Yona Kanga-Kantwera is taking it to a whole new level.
Kanga-Kantwera has turned his grandmother into a household celebrity through hilarious video clips under the name Gogo Mlewa.
On The Arts reached out to Kanga-Kantwera and his granny to understand the genesis of the video clips.
He said: “I started with a video clip on the results of an English Premier League match. It was because of a friend who supports Chelsea and since I don’t follow football and I am not a fan of any team both local and international. Ndinkafuna kumumvetsa kuwawa [I just wanted to poke fun at him]
“So, I thought of telling my granny about Chelsea’s loss and it was fun to hear her response when she asked me: Wapagolo anali kuti [where was the goalkeeper when Chelsea conceded the goals]?
“Surprisingly, the clip went viral and was shared in many groups. Nobody had an idea who was behind it and people thought my granny does follow football.”
That was the start of it all. Since then, social media has been flooded with so many hilarious video clips from Gogo Mlewa.
At first the videos were meant to be shared among family members and friends, but the impact was uncontrollable, according to Kanga-Kantwera.
“I had to seek permission from my uncle who is the eldest in our family if he was comfortable with me sharing the videos with the public. He gave his consent and since then, we have 35 video clips in circulation,” he said.
Gogo Mlewa, born Leya Ketrina Aziyele Mlewa in 1937, is one of the members of Lumbadzi CCAP Women’s Guild and talented in composing songs. She is also an actress in stage drama and the camera seems to love her.
After a few video clips had gone viral, Gogo Mlewa was surprised when she was mobbed by excited people after she went to Kasungu to visit her daughter who is married to a church minister at Kasungu CCAP.
“For me, it’s satisfying to hear that the video clips are making people happy. As for those who might have negative views, there is nothing I can do about that,” said Gogo Mlewa, who stays at Chezi Trading Centre along the Lilongwe-Salima road, in Traditional Authority Chimutu just after Kanengo in Lilongwe.
She says she enjoys making the videos with her grandson after feeling the impact when she went to Kasungu.
The only challenge now is that she has hearing problems and also suffered a minor stroke recently.
Her grandson, who stays about 35 kilometres away in Mtandire, Lilongwe, makes it a point to visit her once or twice a week where he also records more videos.
“It’s funny how we do these things because at times I have a story planned to shoot but her response will change my mind and instead go for her idea. It’s all about team work. She contributes as much as I do,” said Kanga-Kantwera.
He believes that making people laugh is one of the best gifts one can contribute to society to relieve stress and make people appreciate life.
Besides a dosage of humour, some video clips also contain educational messages.
Kanga-Kantwera traces his talent to when he was doing his secondary school days at William Murray where he was into drama.
Despite the undeniable talent in Gogo Mlewa and Kanga-Kantwera that has brought so much laughter among Malawians, the two have not benefited financially.
“We do it for fun and since she is becoming very popular, I think it’s time companies, organisations and individuals with different products can use us to market them by doing adverts for example,” said Kanga-Kantwera, who is a civil servant.