Namibia
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Beyond the Punchlines: Axarob on Comedy in Namibia

Laughter is contagious and one person who knows how to spread it like wildfire is Aloys ‘Axarob’ Murorua, a Namibian comedian who has taken the comedy scene by storm.

With his unique brand of humour, storytelling prowess and social commentary, Axarob has captured the hearts of audiences and carved a niche for himself in the world of stand-up comedy over the last two years.

The funny man takes The Weekender on a journey through his comedic evolution, shares his most memorable moments and reveals his aspirations for the future.

For Axarob, comedy is more than just entertainment.

“I had a different view of what stand-up was before I got into it. I thought about it as a form of entertainment, but now it’s like therapy and also storytelling at its core. It’s like sitting around a fire with your cousins or family and just having a blast,” he says.

His path has included countless headlining sets in Windhoek. He recalls discovering his passion for comedy at a young age, when his older brother uploaded some Def Jam comedy videos on their home PC.
Mesmerised by the performances, Axarob says he spent countless hours memorising the lines.

Fuelled by this passion, he decided to pursue stand-up comedy.
“I was like, you know what, there’s nothing to lose and there’s all to gain,” he recalls.

When Comedy Hour co-founder Vernon van Wyk approached him to add something new to the comedy scene, he jumped at the chance, and the show is now a major event on the city’s calendar.

Through these performances, Axarob has slowly begun to make a name for himself on the circuit. However, he says his most cherished memories are of entertaining those close to him, like his sister and cousins.

“Making the people you love happy, that moment is truly an amazing feeling.”

Like any art form, comedy comes with its fair share of challenges. Axa­rob highlights the sensitivity issues he faces, particularly when it comes to corporate gigs. These types of events often come with restrictions on topics and language, limiting a comedian’s creative expression.

“Usually, you end up boxing in somebody’s art form, and it doesn’t come off the same when you censor it.”

He laments the lack of open-mindedness in Namibia’s comedy scene, which tends to favour caricatured and stereotypical jokes. However, Axarob says he refuses to be boxed in, as his comedic style draws inspiration from his own lived experiences, creating a unique blend of storytelling and conversation laced with puns.

Axarob’s comedic style finds its sweet spot in social commentary. Observing society and its idiosyncrasies, he finds an endless well of material that never fails to make audiences chuckle.

“Society gives you material every day,” he says, adding that for him, the beauty of social commentary lies in its relatability and relevance.

Every day, the people and situations he encounters present him with new material, ensuring that his humour arsenal is constantly refreshed.
Despite his accomplishments so far, Axarob remains hungry for more.

With a burning desire to perform at comedy festivals, he is actively working towards taking his talents beyond Namibia’s borders and to explore the vast comedic landscape and continue evolving as an artist.

“There’s so much more out there,” he says.

Axarob’s journey as a comedian is a testament to the power of pursuing one’s passion fearlessly. From his early discovery of comedy to his current status as a rising star, Axarob has proven that laughter knows no boundaries. With his unique blend of storytelling, conversation and social commentary, he has breathed new life into Namibia’s comedy scene, and to be quite honest he is just so naturally funny, be it on stage or even on his Twitter platform.

As he sets his sights on international comedy festivals, there is no doubt that Axarob’s infectious humour will continue to captivate audiences worldwide. So, buckle up and get ready to laugh, because this talented comedian is here to stay.

– Anne Hambuda is a poet, writer and commentator.
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