A Conversation with King Kandoro: The Zimbabwean comedian aiming to take "Properganda" across the World

To think of Zimbabwean comedy is to think of King Kandoro. Not just in the facet of stand-up, but skits, YouTube shows and even current affairs. Yet that wasn't always the direction his life was headed in.

A Conversation with King Kandoro: The Zimbabwean comedian aiming to take "Properganda" across the World

As the first-born son to two hard-working civil servants, from an early age, it was drilled into him that education is the key to success. However, the creative bug he had grappled with for a long time, finally won while he was doing his 3rd year at Rhodes University. In 2015 King Kandoro the comedian was born.

Rising to prominence on the back of his Madhorofiya Republik skits around 2017, the creative hub would go on to house the popular Sadza in the Morning podcast (alongside Nickk Titan), an animated series called PaJecha and Madhorofiya Socials.

King Kandoro would go on to gain even more prominence for his work with Magamba TV, where he wrote, acted and produces several productions including the popular Zambezi News and The Week with Cde Fatso.

He would go on to be the first comedian to headline and sell out Reps Theatre in 2019, a feat that he bested in 2021 when he sold out 7 Arts Theatre with his Prodigal Son Tour. In December 2022, he attempted his most daring feat yet at a local arena, selling out the 3500-seater Celebration Centre, with his Family Meeting Tour

A Conversation with King Kandoro: The Zimbabwean comedian aiming to take "Properganda" across the World

These feats would see him win the NAMA Award for Oustanding Comedian in 2023. The fact that they haven't given out the award again since then, might just be a testament to just how good he is.

Currently, the comedian is embarking on an unprecedented World Tour for his latest special "Properganda". A comedy special born out of his current affairs program by the same name. Unlike a world tour by a Western artist (which is really just a North America and Europe tour), The Properganda World Tour is set to visit multiple continents, with a strong presence in Africa.

He recently wrapped up 5 sold-out shows across South Africa, and he'll be beginning the Zimbabwean leg of the tour, with shows confirmed in Gweru, Masvingo, Mutare, Bulawayo and Harare (more might be added).

We caught up with the comedian for a conversation about his current tour, balancing family and comedy, and the attention of Zimbabweans most popular philanthropist:

How does it feel to be back again touring?

Kandoro: It feels good to be with the people my guy. It always feels good to be linking up.

What makes your latest special different from the previous ones?

Kandoro: This one is more from MY perspective, whereas previously I would be speaking on behalf of an entire people, society. This one feels a little more personal. This is my properganda. 

As a one-man team, what's been the most difficult and most rewarding part of putting the Properganda World Tour together?

Kandoro: This "one-man team" is a gross exaggeration (laughs). I get a lot of help from well-wishers, and people on the ground in different cities, who know better than I do. They just prefer to remain faceless, but I rise on the backs of their hard work. So on their behalf, I will say, it feels very gratifying to see the plan come together. 

Is the Properganda show going to make a return after the World Tour is over?

Kandoro: It probably will, maybe during this run, you never know (laughs).

How does it feel to be selling out shows across borders?

Kandoro: It’s very humbling, I’ve been in the trenches, so for people to come out like that, and be so kind and expectant, it’s always humbling. But also terrifying, because it’s like what? People are driving all these distances to come to see me, mfana wepaghetto?

What has kept you consistent over all these years?

Kandoro: I want to buy my wife a very nice house, with a kitchen island. That doesn’t happen if I have too many off days. 

How has it been balancing familiar obligations, while also sharing your comedic brilliance with the world?

Kandoro: I’ve been fortunate enough that my wife is so accommodating, she believes in me and my talent and so for now she will let me run off while she handles the homestead. It still is hard being away from home for so long, but it’s easier when you’re selling out. 

What would you describe as her biggest impact on your career?

Kandoro: Work ethic, I get my work ethic from her. Undoubtedly. My mother is the reason my family is still together, he had this habit of pulling rabbits out of the hat. Chicharito last-minute type *beep*. And I would feel like I’m letting her down if I didn’t try to outdo her. Given the opportunities that I have been afforded.

What are your thoughts on Wicknell's comments regarding your comedy and his subsequent announcement that he'll buy 100 cars because of a joke you made?

Kandoro: I just want to know if these people will also thank me when they get those cars. Because I made this happen, didn’t I?

You can find tickets for King Kandoro's upcoming Zimbabwe performances at the places below:

Gweru - Milan Family Restaurant 

Masvingo - Charles Austin Theatre

Mutare - Courtald Theatre

Bulawayo - Cotton Lounge, Vitamind Pharmacy

Harare - Med Orange Pharmacies (Jason Moyo, Travel Plaza, Sam Levy Village)

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