Local comedian, Oefile Mokgware famously known as Mawee in comedy circles says the winner of the Presidents’ Day competition, comedy category 2017, Bokamoso ‘Penene ponono’ Nthompe stole and used some of his jokes at the finals held at Westwood International School recently. Mawee says he is not speaking out of bitterness because he got position 5 at this year’s competition but wanted the youngster to own up to his mistake and not use other artists’ work for personal gain.
“I came really prepared for this year’s competition and my jokes were scripted on a piece of paper. Penene came onstage before me and I was shocked while I was backstage to hear him performing some of my jokes. When it was my turn to perform I just fumbled and had no content to perform,” he told Time Out also adding that he believed he could have performed better if his jokes were not stolen.
When asked how Penene accessed his content Mawee said, “I had performed with him in other shows before and he must have picked some of them from there. I know you might ask why I would repeat the jokes at the finals but with comedy you could always adjust a former joke to make it relevant for a current show. That was my plan and I had no backup.”
It is for this reason that Mawee said he went to protect his works at CIPA by registering his jokes through Copyright which protects literary and artistic works. “Coming up with a joke is not easy and it pains me when someone can stand confidently in front of people presenting someone’s works as theirs. In comedy there is something called originality and the winner has failed in this aspect. Stealing others’ content is a huge problem and the only solution is to register and protect our works,” he said.
In his defence Penene rubbished Mawee’s claims saying every joke he performed at the final was his. “That is not true. What happens is that established or well known comedians steal our content as young and up and coming performers, they then present them as theirs and nobody would know. Now when you are afforded the opportunity as an upcoming comedian to perform, as the original content producer you are accused of stealing because your jokes have already been widely presented,” he explained further adding that protecting their works was the best solution to curb the situation.