keith nkosi – photo by Multimedia Box
Keith Nkosi has starred at the Live & Fluid a Culture Beat Africa Multimedia multi-genre arts showcase in Zimbabwe in 2015 amongst many other national and regional platforms.He gave an inspired performance that had audiences tickled by the sardonic wit of the Namibian University performing arts major. Keith is funny to a fault..the thinking man’s comic in the mould of a David Chappelle or a Trevor Noah. In this interview with CBA he talks about his journey to date:
CBA: Keith your journey in comedy begins when ?
Keith Nkosi: It begun in 2010 in Namibia when I did a comedy show Think out loud for my 4year drama project at the University of Namibia.
CBA : As an African comic what do find is the role of Comedy in Africa?
Keith Nkosi: The role of comedy in Africa is a transformation ,social and political, and marketing tool..we transforming Africa from the dark continent into a black conscious continent.
CBA: What are some of you most memorable comedy highlights?
Keith Nkosi: My memorable comedy night is when is when I did a show dubbed ZimAssets2million jokes…I felt I was using the power of spoken word to push the edge cause a lot of Zim comics are scared to touch on political subjects.
CBA: What’s funny right now?
Keith Nkosi: Whats funny right now is we still believe in politicians
CBA: Do you think therefore that when it comes to politicians they are fair game for your material?
Keith Nkosi: I have always worshipped satirical comedy and politics and satire comedy it’s a gold mine for any comedian any day.
CBA: What are your thoughts bout Africa?
Keith Nkosi: Africa is work in progress , the sooner we realise our worth the better.
On the business of comedy
CBA: Are you monetized?
Keith Nkosi: Currently am still tryna figure out my value in figures
CBA: Why is that the case ?
Keith Nkosi: It’s because am still teaching people about the product called Keith ..early adopters have received pretty well now my target is to reach the late adopters
CBA: Can you eat from comedy and how is the African comedy sector?
Keith Nkosi: Comedy is taking over Africa. Once one is in the right space and time the bank balance will tell the story.
CBA: Your thoughts on Trey noah’s cross border hustle?
Keith Nkosi: Noah has set the bar high for African comedians and made us believe we can penetrate mature comedy markets.
CBA: You left Zim..why ? Were your reasons social , economic or political?
Keith Nkosi: I left Zim because of I wanted to explore beyond Zim comedy Culture.
CBA: Where are you at right now ?
Keith Nkosi: I’m in SA pushing keeping my eye on Zim..When I was the first comedian to perform on live and fluid ..I was used to performing with other comedians in a safe comedy environment.
CBA: Yes you held your own and thrilled the audience that night.
CBA: Your top inspiration ? In terms of comics who inspired or still inspires you?
Keith Nkosi: Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock
CBA: Life in the hood…? What got you laughing? What made you say you could do this?
Keith Nkosi: And in the hood what got us laughing was the encounter we had with police, we strived to outsmart police cause that was yardstick.What made think I could do this it’s the ghetto culture that we born to entertain and our ticket out of the ghetto is perceived as entertainment than education.
Crazy hood moment
Keith Nkosi: When I was involuntarily turned into a Jazz man (local slang for drug pusher) by my friend , when he ran away from the police and left me with weed I didn’t know of….
CBA: Hood living is crazy ain’t it?
CBA: How did you make it out of one of the toughest ghettoes in Zimbabwe anyway ?
Keith Nkosi: I made it out of the toughest ghetto through education which demystify the perception that only entertainment can make you in the ghetto.
CBA: But the weed story is funny and you almost went to “college” (prison) because of it…were it not for your grandma. What did she do that got you out ?
Keith Nkosi: My granny brought all my certificates junior school high school and university. She told police that i am an astute citizen and too cool for weed pushing. and that with my level of education maybe if they had accused me of fraud she would understand though it was a desperate measure cause a lot of grads in Zim have been reduced to dealers and vendors.
On family support
CBA: What’s the level of family support for your comedic efforts.?
Keith Nkosi: When I went to University I was supposd to study B.com Economics .I changed programs to Arts because of the influence Amokhosi Cultural Centre and the streets had on me. So for a year my family didn’t know what I was studying and even now some of my family members don’t know what I studied even if I have told them it’s a BA honors in performing Arts…You know family wanna brag about accountant doctors and lawyers.
CBA: Looking back how do you feel about the decision you made?
Keith Nkosi: It’s a tough decision moving from a place where I was somebody now I am no one.
Keith Nkosi: After appearing on newspapers my family’s support grew cause thy now knew what I’m about and ain’t no doctors or accountants that just make news unless if something gone wrong.
CBA: Lastly, there are reports that Carl Joshua Ncube is relocating to S.A.. What’s your take on the subject?
Keith Nkosi: I think Carl has realised that we are limited as comedians in Zim by things beyond our scope…
CBA:If you were to meet say president Mugabe , what would you say to him?
Keith Nkosi :If I met the President I will thank him for contributing to my desire to do comedy.