Wayne Chiridza, Showbiz Reporter
LONG John the comedian bagged the Savanna Pan-African Comic of The Year Award at the Savanna Comics Choice Awards ceremony which took place at the Gold Reef City in South Africa on Saturday.
The comedian beat Uganda’s Anne Kansiime, Nigeria’s Basketmouth, Zambia’s Chingliz and fellow Zimbabwean, Alfred Kainga.
Other winners on the night included legendary comedian, Soli Philander, who walked away with the title of Lifetime Achiever, as well as Celeste Ntuli who was honoured with not one, but two awards. The most coveted award of the night, The Savanna Comic of the Year Award, went to Loyiso Gola. Reflecting on the big win, Long John said the feeling was out of this world.
“This is the biggest comedy award in Africa so being the first Zimbabwean to win it is such an honour because it’ll likely open doors for me and every other Zimbabwean comedian.
“Also, this has shown me that hard work pays off,” said Long John. He said winning the Savanna Pan-African Comic of The Year Award was a culmination of years of hard work and improvement adding that it has given him confidence to take on bigger platforms and also have one-man shows. “This has been such an amazing journey, from being just a village boy in Chimanimani to a comedian touring Africa with big comedians. Winning this award is such a dream come true because I can now easily do my one-man show,” he said.
Long John encouraged up-and-coming comedians to be authentic.
“Comedy is about being true to yourself and where you come from. I want to urge up-and-coming comics to perform as much as they can and write original and quality material. It’s not about quantity, but quality – that’s how you stand out and make it in this industry,” said Long John.
The comedian is now planning a one-man show with Umahlekisa Comedy Club. Next week, he is billed to perform in Cape Town where he will stage two one-man shows at Nomad Bistro Restaurant. – @waynecas