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10 INCREDIBLY FUNNY COMEDIANS REDEFINING KENYAN STAND-UP COMEDY

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Kenyan comedy has long been associated with clichéd gags about tribes, gender, and body sizes delivered with a strong accent and occasionally high-pitched voice, but a new generation of comedians are altering the narrative.

It was nearly impossible to find local material that could be broadcast on platforms like Comedy Central and Netflix just a few years ago, but today we are witnessing an explosion of new and talented comedians who are creating unique, fresh, and different material that is widely relatable and truly hilarious.

“You would imagine we would have lots of stellar standup comedians, but, surprisingly, stand-up comedy in Kenya is a non-starter. It’s held together by a tedious Band-Aid of tribal stereotypes and silly accents. It has refused to move on from the ridiculous circus attire that it continues to prop itself on. Our comedians have become caricatures of the jokes they tell. The material we sell as stand-up comedy has become humdrum.”

Kenyan writer Steve Biko wrote in 2014.

We’ve gone a long way in the last seven years, and we’re now perhaps the continent’s top comedians. Watch this space!

Below are ten Kenyan stand-up comedians (in no particular order) that are doing incredible work and who you should certainly check out and support. Please let us know if we missed someone in the comments section below.

1O. Davy Kamanzi

 

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A post shared by Davy Kamanzi / DVK (@davyk17)

9.David Macharia

 

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A post shared by David Macharia (@davidxmacharia)

8. Maina Murumba

 

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A post shared by Maina Murumba (@murumba_)

7. Ciku

 

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6. George Waweru

 

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A post shared by George Waweru (@chai_kneees)

5. Amandeep Jagde

 

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A post shared by Amandeep Jagde (@amandeepjagde)

4.Ty Ngachira

 

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A post shared by Ty Ngachira (@anto_ty)

3. Sharon ‘Shazz’ Nderitu

2. Bashir Yusuf

 

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1. Doug Mutai

 

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CULTURE

Netflix and UNESCO Are Looking For The Next Generation of African Filmmakers  

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Netflix and UNESCO have teamed up to establish an innovative short film competition in Sub-Saharan Africa called “African Folktales, Reimagined.” The competition’s winners will receive industry training and mentoring, as well as a US$75,000 production budget, to create short films that will premiere on Netflix in 2022 as a “Anthology of African Folktales.”

One of the competition’s main goals is to find fresh perspectives and provide young filmmakers from Sub-Saharan Africa global exposure. We want to identify the most daring, witty, and surprising retellings of some of Africa’s most beloved folktales and share them with entertainment enthusiasts in over 190 countries across the world.

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It is important that the film sector acts to ensure the voices of Africa are heard, by supporting the emergence of diverse cultural expressions, putting forth new ideas and emotions, and creating opportunities for creators to contribute to global dialogue for peace, culture and development.

Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General

The tournament, which will be run by Dalberg, will run from October 14th until November 14th, 2021. Each of the six winners will get a US$75,000 production grant (via a local production firm) to create, shoot, and post-produce their films with the help of Netflix and industry mentors, ensuring that everyone engaged in the production is fairly compensated. In addition, each of the six winners will get a cash prize of $25,000 apiece.

APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN: ANIMATION TRAINING FOR EAST AFRICAN WOMEN

Both UNESCO and Netflix agree on the importance of promoting and sharing varied local stories with the rest of the globe. They recognize that many aspiring filmmakers struggle to get the resources and exposure they need to fully realize their potential and advance their creative careers. This competition aims to address these difficulties and provide a platform for African storytellers to showcase their work to a worldwide audience.

This alliance will also assist to create long-term jobs and stimulate economic growth, contributing to the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, a set of goals aimed at ending global poverty in all of its forms by the end of this decade. This film festival will also contribute to the reduction of disparities by allowing access to global markets and ensuring decent working conditions. All of these are important targets for the 2030 Agenda.

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CULTURE

Afrotape to Focus on it’s Community

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Today marks 3 years since Afrotape was formed. What began as a platform for artists’ services has evolved into a youth brand that will be the leading voice on African culture. It’s been a fascinating and challenging journey, full of invaluable experiences and life lessons that have shaped us into the people we are today. (more…)

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APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN: ANIMATION TRAINING FOR EAST AFRICAN WOMEN

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The Ladima Foundation announced earlier this year a cooperation with Culture and Development East Africa (CDEA) and the Kwetu International Animation Film Festival (KIAFF) to provide training, development, and professional opportunities to women working in the animation industry in East Africa. (more…)

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