Carl flies Zim flag high

HARARE - Even though some may not find him funny, comedian Carl Joshua Ncube has been flying the Zimbabwean flag high in his travels and through various activities.

Apart from making people laugh, Ncube has been finding ways to draw people to Victoria Falls through his cooking, comedy club, art project and a podcast that he has started.

This is all despite the fact that the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has failed to recognise his tireless efforts, hence appoint him Tourism Ambassador.

In a feature on CNN’s African Voices where he got to talk about Zimbabwe, Ncube revealed that while travelling and talking about Africa and Zimbabwe, he has had the chance to celebrate the culture as well.

He said if Zimbabwe was serious about re-engaging the world, it should focus on the positive things that bring money to the country.

“A lot of people kept saying I seem to have a different way of talking about Africa, I’m talking about its problems, but I’m also celebrating the richness of our culture as well. Making comedy relevant in the context of Zimbabwe has been my personal mission,” he said on CNN’s African Voices.

He calls himself the biggest Zimbabwean stand-up comedian in the world.

“I thought I was gonna be famous but I didn’t know how, I knew what I was gonna do, millions of people are gonna know about it,” he said.

His parents sent him to the UK to study nursing and he only got into comedy in his 30s in 2012. He got a platform to grow his career in comedy in South Africa due to the restrictions that existed in the creative sector.

“Zimbabwe is not a country that is allowed to have stand-up comedians based on our history but it offered a challenge to break that barrier, to say how can you be relevant to the world in terms of the fear of being a stand-up comedian,” Ncube said.

“Robert Mugabe who was president for 37 years ,and I’m 38 I’ve just never had freedom of speech, the only freedom that I had was to travel around the world, but that in itself grew my career. I have lent as I travelled that Africa is the new frontier.”

The comedian also revealed that he has been in talks with Kimberley Ray Pringle Sparrow discussing how Zambezi House and Art of Africa can partner to showcase great Zimbabwean artists and provide Art Classes with Wine and Food at one of the most beautiful spots on the Zambezi River.

Ncube and his Wife Nelsy are currently running a restaurant in Victoria Falls on the banks of the Zambezi and are planning on opening a comedy club called the Zambezi House of Laughter.

The club is set to be one of the five in Africa.

“So basically, Victoria Falls is like the hub of tourism in Zimbabwe and for the longest time the government would not make me the Tourism Ambassador so I just took it upon myself to be the brand ambassador for Victoria Falls unofficially and that’s my job.

“So my idea is just to bring the great things that are happening in Victoria Falls and bring that to the attention of the world,” Ncube said earlier.

“We now run our own restaurant and that’s pretty fantastic, so we now get to get a comedy club in Victoria Falls, bearing in mind there are only five comedy clubs in the whole of Africa.

“All of them are in South Africa, so this is going to be the sixth comedy club on the content and that is going to be in Victoria Falls. It’s called the Zambezi House of laughter.”

Previously, Ncube made attempts to launch a Stand Up Comedy Club at a local hotel in Harare, with no success.

Ncube has been performing around the world including in France, at Gotham Comedy Club in New York, Johannesburg International Comedy Festival, South African Comedy Circuit, Nite of a Thousand Laughs in Abuja, Nigeria and Uganda.

The National Arts Merit Award (Nama) winning Ncube has shared the stage with Klint da Drunk (Nigeria), Mandy (Nigeria), Eric Omondi (Kenya), Funny Face (Ghana) and Patrick Salvado Indringi (Uganda).

In 2016, he performed a record breaking stand-up comedy show at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge amphitheatre after a gruelling week of gigs across South Africa and Zimbabwe Ncube believes he broke the world record for the most stand-up performances in seven days –— but was awaiting official confirmation from Guinness World Records.

He had planned to perform 35 shows in 35 different venues in Zimbabwe and South Africa, but only managed 31, after a few venues let him down at the last minute.

This was, however, still enough to break the existing Guinness World Record, set by Australian comedian Mark Murphy in 2007, when he performed 30 stand-up gigs in a week.

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