Comedy show to honour Mandela
LOCAL comedians will, on 18 July 2016, join comics across the world in holding a charity show to honour the legacy of the late South African statesman Nelson Mandela at Mpilo Boutique Hotel in Maseru.
Dubbed Stand Up for Nelson Mandela Day, the show is the brainchild of Nelson Mandela International Day initiative, 67 Comics, and meant to coincide with the anti-apartheid struggle’s birthday.
Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day) is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July. Mandela was born on 18 July 1918. The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010.
Cura, Lilaphalapha, Tšolo, Mkhondo and BNF Comedians will be among the 67 comics set to entertain audiences in Johannesburg, Durban, Lusaka, Gaborone, London, Los Angeles, Kampala, Maseru, Seattle, Washington DC, New York, New York, Mbabane, Texas, Kampala, Lagos, Nelspruit, Sydney, Harare among other cities.
In addition to honouring Mandela, the shows are meant to raise funds for charity organisations in the various locations.
“The 67 Comics project aims to be an every year initiative that raises funds for charity organisations world-wide. And it is and will always be rooted in Dr Nelson Mandela’s beliefs in how humans should go about living lives and caring for each other,” read a statement released by the organisation this week.
“The shows will be held on the same day at 8pm and streamed live on Facebook for anybody in the world to watch. The funds made from gate takings will be donated to various charities throughout the world and people who will watch the shows online are encouraged to donate money, food and clothes to their local charities.”
The organiser of the Maseru edition, Nozipho Nonyana, told Xpress People this past week they would donate the proceeds of the show to God’s Love Centre in Sekamaneng.
“Our intention is to help vulnerable kids by participating in this international charity event,” she said, adding that admission is M67.
“We are hoping to host the show on an annual basis. However, that can only be achieved through the support of Basotho.”
Nonyana also said being part of the celebrations would also give local artists international exposure.
“As a Mosotho, I feel we should grab such opportunities with both hands because they give local comedians international exposure,” she said.
“Nelson Mandela International Day is celebrated worldwide under the United Nations umbrella, so we Basotho should not be left behind.”
“Added to that, the event will be broadcast globally. So I am hoping that it will open doors for local comedians as they would be watched by a global audience.”
Contacted for comment, Lilaphalapha said the show’s benefits were two-fold in that they would not only be giving back to the community but getting international exposure as well.
“As local comedians, we have been involved in various charitable initiatives as a way of giving back to the community that has been supporting us. So we could not resist when ‘M’e Nonyana came with the proposal for the show,” he said.
“Since the hand that gives is always blessed, we feel we will also be receiving our blessing on the night because the whole world will know that there are comedians in Lesotho. That will make it easier for us to foray into different parts of the world.”