Angela Sibanda, Showbiz Correspondent
Bulawayo born stand up comedian Frank Chirisa’s goals have received a mega boost after he scooped his first award in the recently held inaugural Matabeleland Awards (MLA).
Being one of consistent comedians in the city of Kings and Queens, Frank got recognition for his efforts through the Best Comedy Act.
For Frank, the past year has been eventful and quite progressive as he managed to host his one man show which he then took to Gweru during his partnered tour with UK based comedian King Kandoro.
He was also nominated for last year’s Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAAs) under the Outstanding Comedian category.
In an interview with the Chronicle Showbiz, Frank revealed that he has a lot of activities planned up for this year that will be launched this February.
“Being able to make it to the BAAs and getting this award, is a sign that I am heading towards the right direction, and as an artist, this is a dream come true.
“This award has just motivated me to set higher goals and I am happy to announce that me and my team will be launching a number of projects this February with the hope that it benefits the community and aspiring comedians,” he said.
One of the upcoming projects that the comedian is set to launch is a training facility that is meant to mentor aspiring comedians in the city.
Named after him, the Frank Chirisa School of Comedy is set to be launched in the second week of February with a total of nine male participants that have registered for the first free sessions.
“We are going to kick start with free workshops at the Hope Centre but as time goes on, we will be monetising the mentorship to cover rent expenses amongst others,” he said.
He also bemoaned the absence of female participants for his program saying he wishes ladies could take up such opportunities.
“Personally, the funniest comedians that I know and who have impacted my skills are female. When they stand up to speak the room dies in silence and they leave everyone with cracked ribs, so I really wish we could have aspiring female artists from the city taking up such chances.
“The invitation for registration never specified gender but only male participants showed up,” said Frank.
To try and address the issue of having women shy away from comedy, Frank said he is planning on having an all-female comedian line up for his next comedy show that is scheduled for June this year.
Another interesting project that will be launched this year is the Seamen animation project that is destined to be a television program.
“The animation is strictly for grown children who are at the stage of learning about the reproductive system at school. I drafted it using the school’s text book and it just teaches the human reproduction system in a very comic way. I think this will be the best way of learning about such a sensitive topic,” he said.
In the third week of February, he is also looking forward to airing his podcast, The funny Podcast that heals on YouTube, which he will co-host with Sibo the poet and Miss Buhle.
Outside his own projects, Frank also got a leading role on a local comic drama ‘Amaloja: The Tenants’ that is still under production and will be airing on one of the local television platforms.
Frank will also be embarking on a 10-city tour around the country where he will be holding one man shows in towns including Bulawayo, Harare, Kwekwe, Masvingo, Bindura, Victoria Falls and Kariba amongst others.
Last year was not all rosy for the artist as he got mugged in March and suffered major losses.
“Last year’s mugging really got the best of me and my family has been trying so hard to recover from all the trauma and financial losses. I am hoping that since this year has started on a positive page, it will be a perfect period to bounce back,” said Frank.