Top comedian Lazarus Boora, affectionately known as Gringo says there is need for a paradigm shift in how people do comedy in the era of social media to avoid infantilising the trade.
In a recent interview with The Standard Style, the renowned comedian who shot to fame in the 1990s, said the online skit regime along with other productions need to engage experts to improve their work.
“Those are just people trying to market themselves but they are missing it by failing to engage experienced comedians in order to improve on the art and as a result, what they do ceases to be comedy,” he said.
Some comedians like Marabha and Baba Tencen have risen to prominence and raked in thousands of followers through physical features like tooth gaps but Gringo believes this is a sign of mediocrity.
Referring to the features as “natural disasters”, he slammed flaunting of physical deformities by jesters to gain artistic mileage as myopic conduct unworthy to be termed comedy.
“Those are natural disasters and hayisiyo inoita kuti munhu aite [that’s not what makes one a] comedian. Comedy is an inherent art, that is why even some who go to school to learn about it have failed,” he added while explaining that funny characters were usually directed by a well-defined script.
Meanwhile, Gringo’s once flourishing career has lost its glint, and he blames the misfortunes on lack of proper structures to enhance talents.
“As artists, we have no substantive organisations and a strong ministry which supports our work because usually the leaders of such are not artists, hence they do not understand our struggles,” he said while suggesting veterans like Aaron Chiundura Moyo would do way better.
He also urged authorities to reinforce the lax laws in order to effectively thwart the cancerous culture of piracy which has robbed many artists of their deserved benefits.
“Whenever something fails there is always someone behind the failure, we did not get any returns from Gringo the Trouble Maker movie and it was due to piracy, so our laws are not really working,” he said.
“Perhaps when government announced indigenisation people thought that meant the burning of disks, but the once flourishing entertainment sector has been severely run down by this.”
His days on set may be fading away but the artist believes he would have another shot at fame this time through music.
Apart from his daily job, he is currently helping upcoming musicians but he hinted at resurfacing as a gospel musician.
“If it was back in the day, I would have made an impact with a group I used to play with called Assegai Crew but currently I help some upcoming artists,” he said.
“I may enter the industry fulltime in future and I am taking my time because the products have to be entertaining enough for people to pay attention but it will be gospel.”