Mmegi Online :: Mawee kills them with jokes
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Friday 21 September 2018, 15:09 pm.
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Mawee kills them with jokes

The lights turn off and the murmer of the audience fades into deafening silence. The lights go on again and a small figure appears from behind a large red curtain. The man sporting a hat is clad in grey primary school uniform shorts, a white shirt and black shoes.
By Chippa Legodimo 2013-10-01 10:02:00 Fri 31 Oct 2014, 15:30 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Mawee kills them with jokes








Within minutes, the ‘school boy’ has killed the silence, as the whole room fills with laughter.

Comedian Olefile ‘Mawee’ Mokgware is in the house and while his audience is left in stitches from one of his jokes the young man appears stunned by the response.

Just when the crowd is about to recover, the comedian sends them into another round of laughter with this joke, “Ke nna ko Gabane go bapa le clinic. Ga ke bereke, tiro yame ke go tshodisa batho bana hela. Ga ke dire sepe”.

Perhaps finding it difficult to separate reality from humour, the audience appears stunned at how one could boast about impregnating women.

Then Mawee hits the punchline, “I help women carry their children to and from the clinic”, and suddenly another rupture of laughter fills the room.

Mokgware is one of the few promising young comedians showing potential to follow in the footsteps of the legendary Michael ‘Dignash’ Morapedi. Born in Gabane 31 years ago, Mokgware never harboured any ambitions of turning professional or using his talent to eke out a living.

Today, while he is not a full time comedian, Mokgware has raked in a pretty buck from comedy shows.  For instance, early this year he scooped P50,000 prize money in the Chibuku Talent Search competition after beating his competition around the country.

In July Mawee got another fat cheque after coming first in the President’s Day Competitions.

Mokgware explains to Arts & Culture that while he never set out to be a stand up comedian, he is not totally surprised by his exploits.

“I come from a family of funny people who crack jokes from left, right and centre. In fact, there is never a dull moment at home. My mum and my elder sister crack better jokes than me. Even when we go through a rough patch we always find something funny about it, I also make my girlfriend laugh all the time,” he tells Arts & Culture.

One of the comedian’s earliest memories doing the funny angered a female schoolmate who ended up not talking to him.

“She

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is a fat person, so I told her she looked like that picture in the Oros container.  My peers laughed at her and thereafter kept on repeating it. She was furious. But now we are friends because she understood that schoolboy mentality,” he says.

Perhaps that was enough to wake the artist in Mokgware up. He watched as people entered and easily won the President’s Day competitions. He entered the 2012 edition, where he finished third in the national finals. The following year, he was relegated to position four.

It thus came as no surprise when he got first position in this year’s competition.  Apart from his obvious talent, he had gained experience over the years, which put him in good stead going into this year’s finals.

Mokgware’s recent performance at the famous Johannesburg Civic Centre seems to have given him more confidence.

“I learnt a lot, but I have to say the gap between us and them is not that much. What stood out though was the way they tackle issues without any fear. People liked my stuff and I am hoping to make more trips there in future,” he says.

While many people find him funny, Mokgware also has a list of individuals who make him laugh. One of them is comedian Goodwill Tlokwe who he rates highly.

“I remember this joke he made after Mpule Kwelagobe won Miss Universe. He joked that a certain old man in Maun who confused Mpule with politician Daniel Kwelagobe wondered who would represent the people of Molepolole if Kwelagobe were chasing after beauty crowns. His punchline was always on point,” he says.

While most local comedians have been criticised for repeating stale jokes, Mawee says sometimes it is necessary, especially when someone performs for different crowds.But he says comedians should strive to give their audiences new jokes in every performance.

“There are some jokes that I have repeated at different places, but I always make sure there is something totally fresh in every performance. In fact, I compose two new jokes every week,” he says.

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