Comic makes splash at African com­edy

Lesotho Times - - Weekender - Mo­halenyane Phakela

LO­CAL co­me­dian, Tšepo “Mas­apo” Mpiti ( pic­tured) achieved a first by rep­re­sent­ing the coun­try at last Satur­day’s Sa­vanna Pan-african Comics Choice Awards in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Sea-point born Mas­apo, who is cur­rently study­ing in Bloem­fontein, joined other am­bas­sadors cho­sen from dif­fer­ent African coun­tries at the launch of the pres­ti­gious awards which will now be open to other coun­tries in­clud­ing Ghana, Namibia, Botswana and Swazi­land.

The event co­in­cided with the fi­nal host­ing of the Sa­vanna Comics Choice awards (open to South Africans) which will pave way for the new pan-african for­mat.

Mas­apo said he was “over­whelmed” by the op­por­tu­nity to per­form and also present an award at such a pres­ti­gious event.

“I’d never per­formed in South Africa be­fore and this as a great mile­stone be­cause my de­but came at one of the big­gest com­edy awards in Africa which are now open to other African coun­tries,” Mas­apo told the WEEK­ENDER this week.

“It was an ex­pe­ri­ence of a life­time with an all-ex­penses paid trip in­clud­ing flight, ac­com­mo­da­tion and shop­ping al­lowances. It was my first time be­ing pam­pered like that. We ar­rived in Johannesburg four days be­fore the main event and we en­gaged in a lot of pro­mo­tional cam­paigns till the show on Satur­day.”

Mas­apo said the or­gan­is­ers had searched the in­ter­net for a co­me­dian from Le­sotho be­fore set­tling on him.

“My name kept resur­fac­ing and they saw the good work that I do via my posts. They then called me,” he said from his Bloem­fontein base.

Mas­apo also said he would take ad­van­tage of his am­bas­sado­rial role to show­case the Le­sotho com­edy scene to the con­ti­nent.

“As am­bas­sador, I have been tasked with en­sur­ing that many Ba­sotho co­me­di­ans grasp the op­por­tu­nity with both hands. I will be in the coun­try be­fore month end and host a num­ber of shows to pro­mote the awards.”

Mas­apo (bones- a name given to slim- built peo­ple) is also a mem­ber of lo­cal out­fit The In­glo­ri­ous Co­me­di­ans. The group hosts monthly com­edy nights and shows in Maseru, Ma­put­soe and Roma.

Fel­low group mem­ber Rele­bo­hile “MSL Relo” Mosola com­mended Mas­apo for lay­ing a good foun­da­tion for them, say­ing they now needed to make the best of the op­por­tu­nity.

“We’ve been strug­gling to make peo­ple take us se­ri­ously for they just view us as a laugh­ing stock. Ei­ther they don’t pay us at all or they just of­fer drinks and food as com­pen­sa­tion.

“What Mas­apo has achieved will help open other av­enues that will en­able us to tap into other coun­tries, just like acts from other coun­tries have done in our coun­try. Pan African Com­edy Awards will give us the spot­light and ex­pose us to dif­fer­ent na­tions.

“We are also plan­ning to have a na­tional tour be­fore the year ends in cel­e­bra­tion of Mas­apo. We will also use the op­por­tu­nity to re­cruit more co­me­di­ans so that we can be well rep­re­sented at the awards next year,” he said.

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