Zimbabwean stand-up comedian Carl Joshua Ncube has set his eyes on becoming the first-ever African stand-up comedian to break the Guinness Book of World Records.
By Sindiso Dube
The stand up comedian’s application to the Guinness Book of World Records body was accepted and he is targeting at holding the highest number of paid comedy shows in a space of seven days. He is looking at breaking the 10-year-old record currently held by Australian Mark Murphy. The Aussie set the record in 2007 when he performed 30 standup comedy shows at 30 venues in his home country. And Ncube believes he can hold 35 gigs in different countries in seven days.
The record requirements stipulates that it should be attempted by a comedy act and each comedy show must be over 30 minutes long before a paying audience. The show should be held in a recognised venue, which normally stages comedy nights with a capacity for a seated audience.
Tickets must be advertised and available for sale to the general public through the usual outlets and the concerts should be accessible to members of the press.
In an interview last week, Ncube said Zimbabweans cannot be defined by the failures of the government and he is trying the world record to show that the citizens are more capable than the government.
“We cannot be defined by the failure of government as a nation. We are able and the world record is about motivating a discouraged and disappointed nation,” he said.
“It’s about reminding each other that we are not as powerless as we are told we are. It’s about showing how we can rise above our circumstances and generate our own solutions as Zimbabweans.”
Ncube, whose work is critical of President Robert Mugabe’s government, said he was inspired by sportpeople like Kirsty Coventry and Charles Manyuchi who have lifted the Zimbabwean flag high.
“Doing comedy shows that to break the world record would be something to celebrate and it will bring a focus to the ideas that I want to share with fellow Zimbabweans,” he said.
He said his 35 shows in seven days will be staggered to an average of five performances in a day. His 35 venues will be in 12 cities in four southern African countries — Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa and Zambia.
“It’s a logistical process we have to be creative about. For instance, I am partnering with Ster Kinekor to perform comedy before new movies they will be launching in six of their cinema houses. We are introducing Sunday morning comedy for churches, late night comedy in bars,” he said.
On paper, it looks like a mission impossible but Ncube believes it can be done. He has started promoting his world record attempt on social media.