TRAILBLAZING Zimbabwean comedian and satirist Comrade Fatso is in New Delhi, India where he was invited to take his cutting brand of humour to the two-day Coalition Festival of Creativity that roared to life on Friday.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
At the festival, Comrade Fatso, born Samm Farai Monro, shared the stage with a star-studded line-up of leading Indian stand-up comedians Daniel Fernandes, Kaneez Surka and Gursimran Khamba, as well as 60 other international artists and speakers.
In an interview with The Standard Style, Comrade Fatso said he felt inspired by the invitation that shows that Zimbabwean comedy is recognised globally.
“I really appreciate the recognition that Zimbabwean comedy is receiving,” Cde Fatso said. “Performing at such a festival is a great honour that presented me with great networking opportunities with leading comedians and creatives from around the world.
“The Zimbabwean comedy scene has some motivating teachings to share with the world; I gave a sermon about how I use satire to speak truth to power in a country with limited freedom of expression, sharing the power of comedy and satire from a Zimbabwean perspective and how it is a force for positive change in our society.”
Comrade Fatso said his main talk at the festival was about how to get away with humour, which looked at his politically charged Zambezi News show and his career as a stand-up comedian.
After the India performance, Comrade Fatso is heading to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he has been invited to attend the Global Issues Summit from March 11 to 13, both as a performer and orator, sharing his comedy activism.
In Tanzania he will share the podium with the likes of New York Times best-selling author Ishmael Beah.
His final stop of the tour will be Belgium on March 25, where he will join hands with Zambezi News co-creator Tongai Makawa aka Outspoken for a TEDx talk headlined, Challenge Accepted.
Comrade Fatso emphasised that he would not be deterred by threats and harassment by local security agents over his satirical jokes in a country where freedom of expression appears to be expensive.
“The government and its security agents need to appreciate that a comedian’s job is to offer lighter moments over serious issues and [it’s] not meant to attack politicians,” he said.