Who would have ever thought that mixing a set of comedians from both Namibia and South Africa would bring a sense of informative humour that addresses stereotyping. Humans in general have a tendency of negatively perceiving people that they do not know and creating their own conclusions based on an individual’s background, gender, race or class.
This however should not be the way in which people should choose to go about poorly threating the next person based on what they assume that the next person may be like without getting to actually know them.
Stereotyping is harmful and can be distressing to people who are judged and at the end of the day can lead to problems among communities in society if it is not properly addressed.
This was a very touching topic for eight comics, namely Slick The Dick, Courage The Comedian, Ebenhaezer Dibakwane, Waylene Beukes, Thabiso Mhlongo, Prins VR, Bongani Dube, Emilio Tobias and Tsitsi Chiumya who performed during the first every Windhoek Comedy Showdown hosted by Native Management that brought together a diverse set of individuals from all corners of Namibia and South Africa.
The Lounge spoke to Namibian based, Courage The Comedian who was one of the comics who gave the audience a show worth their money. Courage on the side line noted that he was happy that stereotyping was brought up as a topic of discussion because most people tend to stereotype subconsciously.
“It happens a lot in Namibia and I am glad that Namibians who attended the comedy showdown were able to take away a little knowledge of it through the performances. It is similar to how most of our country people tend to not come to our local comedy shows because they have this idea that we probably do not market them enough but this is not the case”.
Making reference to the comedy showdown that included a South African comic invasion Courage highlighted that, as a country most of the people tend to like shows that aren’t local because of an experience that they may have heard from someone else.
“I encourage Namibians who have not attended local comedy shows to take time out and attend local comedy shows, trust me you will not be disappointed. If most people could come out and pay attention to acts from across the border and had a great night laughing than I am sure that local shows can equally deliver if given the chance”.
South African comedian and actor, Ebenhaezer Dibakwane definitely set the stage on fire with deep insightful humour that addressed stereotyping.
Having come from a privileged back ground Dibakwane, is not your average privileged looking guy, he walked onto the FNCC stage with an uncombed afro which had many whispering to one another if whether he had slept not knowing that behind his appearance is a man that has made it big in South Africa and has gone as far as being on Dancing with the Stars.
Dibakwane’s appearance clearly broke the norm of what privileged should be seen as and shocked most of the crowd. During his performance he spoke on how he hated stereotyping because there is a stereotype out there among many, that people of colour are less intelligent than white people which he says also exists in black communities as well.
“We say things like black or basters aren’t smart, people are however confusing the lack of intelligence for the lack of knowledge. The truth is people who lack the knowledge have not particularly had access to that knowledge because of poverty.
However for those people of colour who have had access to knowledge tend to find themselves in spaces where they have never imagined. I am not better than anyone I am just privileged”.
He noted that people should stop spreading hatred, the stereotype of not all white people not being able to dance is not true. “There was one guy that could dance and his name was Michael Jackson no pun intended”.
He further explained that he grew in a space where his parents wanted him to learn English because they thought that it would give him a front foot in life and would offer him better opportunities if he spoke well.
“After that I was criticized and ostracized by my own family because I had spent so much time learning a language that people thought would put me out there but during that time I chose to dress a certain way, I would wear all-stars, three quarters pants, shirts and would walk like a tsosti’s for no reason
My look did not fit the way I spoke and my dad himself admitted that he was embarrassed whenever he took me to our home town I then realised that despite the way I spoke or wore people did not know who I really was they would just make up their own conclusions about me”.
He highlighted that during that period he realised that there are attachments to stereotyping which maybe innocent but carry a belief about a person.
“I have to speak about stereotyping in a funny way, so that people can know that I do not appreciate it. A white man can be barefoot in a dirty t-shirt and walk past a car and people will assume his an artists but if a black man were to walk past a car looking clean people will immediately lock their cars”.
At the end of the show, most of the comics shared how they were surprised by the manner in which they were able to come together and pull of a great show regardless of where they were all from.
A great relationship between the comics is said to have been established with many of them noting that comedians are more united than they think. Coming together has not only formed a stronger bond among one another but has also created a platform that will now also allow Namibian comics to perform in South Africa as well.