Comedy enthusiasts will be pleased to know that the Annual International Heavyweight Comedy Festival which is on its 3rd installment will once again take place this year. The comedy festival which started in 2013 will this year take place on the 27th of March at Gaborone Sun Hotel and according to the organizers, about eight established comedians and several upcoming ones will take center stage to entertain the multitudes who will be in attendance.
South African ventriloquist comedian, Chester Missing who can usually be spotted on enca’s Late Nite with Loyiso Gola is rumoured to headline this show along with Conrad Koch. The two will be joined by Peter from Zimbabwe, Cura from Lesotho and locals; Mawee, Rekunde, Phenyo The Master, Ribcracker and Stix.
The comedy festival was headlined by Mashabela Galane, Deep Fried Man and Sifiso in December 2013. However, in 2014 the organizers decided to move the event to March and the 2nd annual event was headlined by Thapelo ‘Tips’ Shampoo Seemise. Events coordinator for Major Moves Comedy Gaolathe Kediemetse said, “having produced the past two international annual shows, we wanted to showcase a different form of comedy and a top notch ventriloquist who is hot and in demand now. Another benefit of the event is that Conrad will workshop local comedians on this type of comedy which is not yet practiced in Botswana.” Koch is one of South Africa’s most in demand comedy talents and the winner of the 2010 Entertainer of the Year award. He combines hilarious comedy with world-class puppetry, and has done so for over fifteen years to local and international acclaim. He has worked all over the world, been featured on local and international television and is a frequent guest at some of South Africa’s biggest comedy events including the Comics Choice Awards, Blacks Only, the Smirnoff Comedy Festival, the Vodacom Comedy Festival, and Metro FM Comedy Experience.
With a Master Degree in Social Anthropology, Koch is South Africa’s top ventriloquist. A pioneer & trailblazer he has singlehandedly introduced the art form of ventriloquism to the broader African audience. It is more recently with his puppet Missing’s role as the political analyst on etv & eNCA’s Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola that Koch has broken new ground in the world of ventriloquism, globally. Such has been the impact of Missing’s no holds barred interviews with the country’s foremost political figures on the show that he has become one of the most interviewed comedians in the country. Chester Missing won the The Times Comic’s Pen Award at the 2014 Comics Choice Awards. Missing’s importance to the South African political landscape was highlighted when he was invited to cover the ANC Elections at Manguang as part of eNCA’s team of reporters.
In 2013, Late Nite News was bestowed with the highest honor in television worldwide by being nominated in the comedy category of the International Emmy Awards. As a vital cog of the show Koch & Missing have played a huge role in this nomination and are certainly taking ventriloquism, puppetry,and political satire to the highest levels.
“Our main aim really is to see stand up comedy growing in Botswana and as part of entertainment and also contribute positively to lives of the comedians who can be able to make a living off comedy like elsewhere in the world, we hope that by bringing in guys who are pioneers in their industry, this will encourage our local comedians with such aspirations,” concluded Kediemetse.