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New Era Newspaper Friday March 9, 2018

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Friday, March 9, 2018 | NEW ERA 22 entertainment COMEDY Joshua Carl Ncube was away in the resort town of Victoria Falls, more than 430 miles from Zimbabwe’s capital Harare, when his countrymen took to the streets in mid-November last year to protest former president Robert Mugabe’s rule. For several years now, Ncube, who calls himself the “biggest Zimbabwean stand-up comedian in the world,” has used humor as a tool to poke fun—ever so carefully—at the government. His pointed jokes targeted the 93-year-old Mugabe, who came to power in 1980 when Ncube was just a year old. Through his stand-up routines and late night show, Ncube bemoaned the state of the nation, besides the physical and mental capabilities of the world’s oldest statesman. When cabinet ministers gifted Mugabe a wheelchair to easily compared it to the one used by Charles Xavier in the Marvel He also likened the ambitious hungry Olivia Pope character in the political drama Scandal. Recognising laughter as a potent weapon, Ncube made fun of the national carrier Air Zimbabwe, saying it couldn’t be attacked by terrorists because it didn’t even have a regular schedule. In 2016, Ncube broke performing 31 comedy shows in a week. And as he became a African, and global comic circles, the fear of Mugabe’s reach always lingered. The comedian received both veiled and outright death threats, not just from government agents but also from businesspeople and clergymen. In August, a few months before Mugabe was ousted, MUSIC • Leonie Wagner He’s performed across the world rock legend Carlos Santana has a special place in his heart for African musicians Brenda Fassie and Fela Kuti. Speaking to the Sunday Times, Santana told of his love for Africa and artists such as Fassie and Kuti. “The future of this world depends on the music of Africa. It thinking that they are wretched sinners who aren’t worthy. It liberates people from the chains of slavery ... people like Brenda Fassie, Fela Kuti ... I love them, I love all of them,” Santana said. heading to South Africa on his Divination Tour, which kicks off Santana, who rose to fame with his band in the late 1960s and is known for his hits Maria Maria and El Farol, brought Latin rhythms and jazz improvisation to rock. He last mesmerised South Africans with his signature guitar tunes in 2014 and will return to Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban in April. The deeply spiritual performer he recounted these fears while Tanzania. “My sense of humor has nothing to do with how happy I am,” he said. “It’s actually a symptom that I am afraid.” In Victoria Falls, Ncube was preparing to travel to Malawi to open a show for the UK-based comedian Daliso Chaponda. But as the military placed Mugabe under house arrest and Zimbabweans marched through townships and suburbs, Ncube watched as approached. The man whose actions he used as a muse to build his career was about to be deposed. And despite the historic nature of the moment, it posed an unpredictable one for Ncube’s nascent career. “I literally had no jokes for this show that I was going to,” says Ncube, who is inspired by Michael McIntyre, Dave Chappelle, and capital Lilongwe, he “realised that my entire comedy career had almost died because all of my jokes were based on my fear of Robert Mugabe [and] now he wasn’t there.” For those living under tyranny, comedy has always been an effective form to resist and propel social movements, says Joseph Nyanoti, a professor of journalism at the United States International University-Africa, who researches popular culture. In recent years, the power of Laughtivism—or using laughter as a tool of activism—has also become prominent in both Africa and across the world. In post-revolution Tunisia, the image of a real unnamed said he was looking forward to “reconnecting with my sisters and brothers of South Africa”. Santana, 70, said that although the music of Fassie in particular had caught his attention, he loved all African musicians. “It’s the vibrancy and brilliance of their music. It’s It’s genius - they make it look so simple. It’s not easy to play music that connects with people. baguette-toting protester inspired the creation of comic character Captain Khobza (khobz is bread in Arabic) to satirise the ruling class’s economic dominance. In Egypt, Bassem Youssef, usually called the Jon Stewart of Egypt, produced skits making fun of former president Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. In Kenya, the XYZ puppet show continues to spotlight the corrupt political elite. And In Libya, comedians like Milood Amroni for years made well-crafted jokes about Muammar But even as these jesters and their works thrived, the penultimate question has always been: what happens when the object of ridicule or the main focus of cultural protest I learn from all musicians but my heart gravitates towards Africa.” Having been in the music industry for most of his life, Santana is what many would consider a purist when it comes to music. He also comes from an era of acid trips on stage and a rock-star lifestyle that most artists today can’t relate to. He misses the days when music had melody and soul. He said that musicians these days Tool for change Up until last year, Zimbabwe knew no other leader since gaining independence. And through a series of controversial and populist policies, Mugabe pulled the southern African nation economically and politically to the crisis left one US dollar with three different values, and people lined up outside banks to get cash. The current president, Emmerson Mnangagwa even supporteda law guaranteeing the “dignity” of Mugabe—hence protecting him from insults. relied too heavily on technology to produce music. “We’re losing imagination because everyone is using more technology to produce music. It’s a real person. Artists today are depending too much on technology to create passion.” Last year, Santana was on the receiving end of the wrath of the Beyhive when he shared Yet under these repressive and bolder as Mugabe grew older. The transformation especially took place on social media platforms including like Magamba TVand Rooftop Promotions streamed cutting-edge political satire. Comedy clubs and festivals also sprang, and in a male- like Sharon Chideu and Samantha Kureya pushed the foldeven further. With Mugabe gone, comedian Clive Chigubu says this is the best chance they have ever had in driving not only the conversation but also the direction the country problematic conditions comedy mushroomed in the last few years, with comics becoming YouTube where companies Carlos Santana is known for his melodic, blues-based guitar music. Photo: Alon Skuy his opinions on Beyoncé. In an interview with Australian Associated Press, Santana said Beyoncé was “not a singer comments had been taken out of Times that most music today didn’t warm his heart, with the He said: “Today, they just want everybody scream, say yeah’, but nobody knows why they’re screaming. I scream when I’m “Adele can just stand there have smoke, bombs and dancers at a show. I understand it’s about a performance, it’s OK, but I was raised with singers. Women like When he performs in South Africa and prepares for his shows, Santana will draw from these women and other legends such as Billie Holiday and Frank “We meditate and pray and ask music to bring a frequency that will touch and change people’s singer”. He later said his But he told the Sunday music “gives me chills”. happy or when I have the big O. Tina Turner and Nina Simone.” Sinatra. hearts.”

Friday, March 9, 2018 | NEW ERA entertainment 23 29 Beginner bloggers • Beauty Ndapanda Blogs are creative, online platforms for people who want to share their ideas, business or personal experience on the internet. Anyone who wants to promote their artistic talent such as photography, make-up, fashion, music, recipes, writing or artwork can become a blogger. Here are my top tips for beginner bloggers to help you get started. Do some research before you create a blog, make sure that you select a unique name that doesn’t already exist online. Find out what blog category will suite you best, for example, lifestyle or entertainment. Also, take lots of quality photos or get copyright-free images. Blogspot and Wordpress are two of the most popular blog hosting sites. Blogspot is accessed via Blogger. com and it’s best for beginners due to its simple-classic interface, it’s also ideal for writers and minimalist blogs. Wordpress is favoured by commercial bloggers due to its modern templates and plug-ins, but it requires basic knowledge of html coding. If you have excellent skills at writing articles with topics that people are generally interested in when searching on the internet, you • Claire Keeton Smiling like a Cheshire cat can change the heart rate or stress hormones of the person in front of you for better or worse‚ a new study shows. Three main types of smiles have professor Paula Niedenthal: bond and shows you’re not a threat] toothy smile you'd give someone to let them know they're making you Facial expressions really do regulate the world. The latest research demonstrates how people’s bodies react to the emotional intention behind a smile. of Wisconsin-Madison psychology department‚ did a trial which found that dominance smiles led to a spike in stress hormones. Friendly smiles‚ signalling a reward‚ buffered people against stress. regulate the world. We have that intuition‚ but there hasn’t been Martin‚ who co-authored the study‚ Reports last Thursday. differences in the way you make facial expressions while someone is talking to you can fundamentally change their experience‚ their body‚ and the way they feel like you're For the experiment‚ 90 male college students had to deliver short‚ impromptu speeches and be judged over a webcam by a fellow student‚ who was in on the study. participants saw brief video clips they believed were their judges’ reactions. In fact‚ each video was a prerecorded version of a single type During the exercise the speakers’ blog. Although, to maximise your audience, you need to let people know about your blog posts by sharing the links on your social media or email subscriptions. The fascinating part about this process is monitoring your readership and seeing views to your blog coming from various countries. Experiment with different logos, templates, branding and content for your blog. It’s your platform and you are the boss, so in the early stages of your blogging venture, you should try out several blog styles. However, when you start building up a following, try to keep your theme consistent so that your loyal viewers know what to expect from your blog. create a schedule and keep posting more content. Once you are ready to invest in obtaining your own website, you can do so by registering with a domain provider that is suitable to your budget. Most importantly, enjoy your blogging journey and make your unique mark on the internet. 123rf/ Siarhei Kavalenka heart rates and the levels of cortisol (a hormone linked to stress) in their saliva were measured regularly. dominance smiles‚ which they would interpret as negative and critical‚ they felt more stress and their cortisol went up and stayed up longer after their speech. they reacted to that as approval‚ and it kept them from feeling as much smiles seemed similar to that of reward smiles. The volunteers showing stronger reactions to the different smiles had a higher heart-rate variability. Niedenthal said people’s parasympathetic nervous system – which controls heart rate and absorb and process information. This meant differences in people’s smile. NSK Industry Loop So I attended the staging of a theatre play last week and I need to get some things off my chest. I need to vent actually. I’d like to start off with a passionate plea to institutions like the NTN and Theatre School to ban the sale of alcohol at these showings. This call is in direct reference to what I and many other lovers of theatre were subjected to last week. People consume alcohol, loose their composure and get too excited during these plays. From endless bottles tipping over, to people having to leave during a production to the loo because we all know what Reinheitsgebot does to the bladder. Moving up and down during a production is not only a serious annoyance to the rest of the people but also a huge distraction to the actors on stage. Some people have weak bladders but are too stubborn to understand that if they are going to consume a couple of beers before or during a production…they’d most likely have to leave for the loo. Let’s (NTN and Theatre School) not poke the bear. Let’s ban the sale of alcohol! To sit for one hour without a beer will not kill you. Another thing that theatre houses really need to look at is age restriction. The play I attended last week, had a baby in attendance. Yeah…imagine, a baby. In a place that requires silence hearing constant cries and baby noises. I love kids…so much so that in the radio world, I’m Teacher NSK! But do we really need to have babies in the audience?! Look, I don’t want to come across as a monster who wants everyone to be all stiff and boring during a showing but truth is…silence is one of the requirements to theatre. It’s a not a cinema that has an incredible sound system which can drown out any unnecessary real time voices. To which some voices may struggle with projection but ultimately why would you want to make it hard an actor and the person next to you with constant chit-chatting? the actors and then shsssssssss! For you to understand the next punchline, you’d actually have to listen hey. One more thing that annoyed me during the showing of the play last week was the use of cell phones. To nothing they can do about this one, except for perhaps an educational drive to discourage people from being on their phones during the staging of a play. The play I attended last week had people running out in the middle of a production to answer phone calls and had their huge screens up replying to texts. Theatre only requires of you to share one hour of your precious time. One lousy hour. If someone is calling you during a production…reject the damn call and instruct them to text! Leave your phone in the handbag or in the car and enjoy some quality theatre! If you are not willing to leave your nxonono at home, if you are not willing to stop moving up & down and if you are certainly not willing to leave your damn phone…please stay at home or go somewhere else. Until the next loop, we say “GMTM”! NSK also provides sound & Dj services. For bookings, email @naobebsekind (twitter)

New Era

New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167