King Kandoro's Prodigal Son Live at 7 Arts Theatre: A Review

King Kandoro on stage @ 7 Arts Theatre 
Image provided 

Avondale's 7 Arts Theatre was the venue for the Harare show of King Kandoro's "The Prodigal Son" Tour. It was the second leg on the tour after Kandoro had performed in Bulawayo. When he initially announced it (The Prodigal Son tour), it felt perfectly setup. One of country's favourite comedians returning after 2 years from the UK. Returning now as a husband of 2 years and a father, and also returning with experiences like snow, working public transport, working roads, working healthcare and a lot of other things Zimbabweans often only experience when they they leave.


However a few weeks before the tour would begin, the UK put Zimbabwe on it's red list for reasons not backed by science (*coughs* racism) but Kandoro said the show was going. A few weeks later came in Nick Mangwana with an announcement via Twitter that probably started with "Henceforth..." as he announced that all incoming travellers would have to quarantine at their own cost and although perplexed Kandoro said the show would go on. This is the first thing that convinced me to go to the show, because I wanted to know why he wants to tell these jokes so bad, in Zimbabwe on top of it, because he had gotten out.

King Kandoro on stage @ 7 Arts Theatre 
Image provided 

Kandoro's show had really great supporting acts, he came on right after Probeatz had just finished doing his thing and everyone was perfectly marinated for comedy. The crowd was vibing, "Ibanga iroro" was ringing in everyone's heads and throats were very much open. King Kandoro entered the stage to Tanto Wavie's 007 and that flowed right into his opening about representation and Zimhiphop. You could see the tension ease off his shoulders after that opening bit landed and suddenly Kandoro looked a lot more comfortable on that stage in his Doc Martens.

The humour was simple and yet contemplative, no one was left behind. Unlike Winky D's Happy Again you didn't need to post your O'level certificate to show that you got the jokes. The time simply flew by and yet somehow we had covered colonisation, our ancestors, racism, Jesus' ability to swim, politics and Nick Mangwana. Kandoro would hit us with punchline after punchline then ease off with great storytelling for us to recover. I haven't laughed that hard since the last time I got texted "So what are we?" 

Although nothing from his set quite hit me so hard as the piece about the shock to the system of prices from Sam Levy Village. I felt myself in Kandoro's situation during that story, because gourmet ice-cream places really need to have a sign that says, "Our ice-cream doesn't come with regular ice cream prices". The storytelling was brilliant and everytime he said "Hallelujah" the congregation roared with laughter. We went international for a bit with a few pokes at Boris but nothing deep enough to have Priti Patel making "The Prodigal Son" a returning resident. 

At the end I truly felt Zimbabwe's satire was in good hands and I wanted to shout that the tour needs another show or several more. At the end Kandoro introduced to us to the latest addition to his family and we also found out it was the first time his mum was watching him perform comedy on stage and what could be more Prodigal than that?

King Kandoro & his son Maita

Image provided 

Greedysouth show rating: 8/10

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