Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
COMEDIAN Long John says that he feels as if he is dreaming after winning American comedian and television personality Steve Harvey’s Standup Spotlight People’s Choice Award yesterday.
Steve Harvey was on the hunt for the “next big comedian” for his Standup Spotlight contest.
Harvey, who got his big break back in the late 1980s with this competition, wants to do the same for up-and-coming comedians.
Long John shrugged off stiff competition from across the world to claim the award.
Announcing the results on social media, the renowned American comedian and actor wrote: “Thank you to all who participated in the Steve Harvey Stand Up Spotlight Competition! The People’s Choice Award Winner is Long John who joined the competition from Zimbabwe! Congratulations man, you were funny, animated, and have great stage presence, keep it up champ!”
Long John, real name Learnmore Jonasi, said he was in shock.
“Oh my God. I can’t believe the news I woke up to today? We won Steve Harvey’s Spotlight Competition and this is a dream come true. I can’t believe this,” wrote Long John.
In a follow-up interview, the Nama award-winning jester said he felt as if he was dreaming.
“This is unbelievable. I’ve always been a fan of Steve Harvey and to win his competition is a dream come true. Pinch me, am I dreaming? This is a sign from God that most definitely I’m on the right track,” said Long John.
He said he never, in his wildest dreams, thought he would win when he entered.
“When I entered, I thought it was for fun (participate). I thought that there were many comedians around the world who could win the competition and I didn’t think I’d win, truthfully speaking.”
Long John said he only believed that he stood a chance when people began to rally him.
“When I started seeing the response from Africans and Zimbabweans that is when I thought I might get this. Shout out to people like Bus Stop TV and everyone who posted my vote and shared it,” said Long John.
He said he is poised to meet Steve Harvey.
“The prize is to fly out to LA to meet Steve Harvey who’ll organise a comedy show and introduce me to the industry. I can’t wait to do this.”
This year has definitely been great for Long John.
After he won the Nama, the comedian bagged the Savanna Pan-African Comic of The Year Award at the Savanna Comics Choice Awards in South Africa in September.