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Harare comedian for Byo comedy fiesta

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HARARE’s fast rising stand-up comedian Ian Phiri, pictured, will be performing in Bulawayo on March 27 for the first time as part of the Bulawayo Comedy Fiesta and also later on in Masvingo.

At the Bulawayo Comedy Fiesta, Phiri will perform in a line-up that includes Kagisure (South Africa), Gabbi (Zambia) and Mandla da Comedian (Bulawayo).

Born on January 9, 1997 in Zimbabwe, Phiri mainly focuses on anecdotal and observational humour in his stand-up comedy routines and he started his comedy journey in December 2016, and since then he made a cameo appearance in the award-winning movie Cook Off. He was also one of the comedians selected for the filming of the Kwese Iflix TV Stand-up Comedy show dubbed the Comic Tick which premiered in October 2018.

In an interview with the Daily News Phiri said: “I was raised by a single mother who used humour as a way to deal with life pressures and it was until my English teacher told me to try comedy that I realised I had a funny bone through impromptu speeches.”

He then became a regular at school and one of the teachers liked his comedy and introduced him to the legendary Q Dube Siziba who then offered him a platform to perform.

Soon after the breakthrough he had to put a halt to the dream after his family insisted he stopped comedy until he had finished writing his “A” Level exams. He resumed performing in December 2016.

“I opened for Doc Vikela in February 2017 and he told me to keep coming back to perform; since then he has been my mentor,” said Phiri.

He added that his early days were more of trial and errors of the different comedy genres so he had a rough time until Q Dube advised him to talk more about his personal life experiences, good or bad, and from then he started witnessing a positive change.

Since then, invitations started coming in to perform at different shows, even for the late musical legend Oliver Mtukudzi.

“Every comedian’s jokes have a certain DNA and mine are about real life experiences and that’s what the audience will witness in my Bulawayo debut — a movie of what I have been through.

“I am really excited about the growth of the Zimbabwean comedy industry because even as Simuka Comedy we do the Simuka Week, a comedy franchise held in different venues at the end of every month,” said Phiri.

He said while most parents do not support art as they regard it more as a hobby than a career path, he believes he has been blessed to have his guardian, uncle Philip, who gives him bus fare for every show and has allowed him to attend late night gigs from the time he was still doing open mic sessions.

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