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MBABANE – “Do not record us – it is illegal.” These sentiments were shared by local stand-up comedians who made it clear they were tired of seeing people recording their performances using their mobile phones.

The outcry skyrocketed when award-winning comedian Mdura shared his frustration on his Facebook page over the recording of their performances by the audience. The disgruntled funny man said this act was destroying their careers and also spoiling the fun for his next audience as they listen to the recorded jokes before they actually meet him.


Another comedian, Mandy, supported the stance against people who recorded renditions from stand-up comedians. She said such a stance was normal as top comedians such as Trevor Noah and Loyiso Gola were also against being recorded while performing on stage.

“This is because we have copyright to our material. We decide what to do with it, it is ours. We spent time working on it, so if you record me, it gives you the power to publish it on social media without my consent,” she said.

In explanation, Mandy said if a joke she performed in Mbabane were to be recorded and posted on social media yet she was booked to perform in Manzini the following weekend, it could be hard for her to use the same script because the video would have reached her next audience by then.
“Being recorded should be by choice and I strongly believe that is why comedians choose to do DVD recordings.

“I urge people to stop it, not because we are not creative but because we are copyright owners of those jokes and we are the only ones meant to publish them. Even my colleagues are not meant to copy and perform my script, so recording is not different from that,” she added.

While talking about the repetition of jokes, the bubbly female comedian said there was nothing wrong with a comedian repeating jokes.
“A comedian can repeat a joke as many times as she wants, however, there should be growth in the jokes because there are people who have seen you perform those jokes somewhere else,” she added.

Comedian Ndosh said in as much as it is about their fans, recording of their jokes was spoiling the fun for the other fans who had not yet seen them perform.


“Comedy needs to be protected. My joke cannot get to Nhlangano or Pigg’s Peak before I do, and it is a bit unfair.
“There is science attached to comedy; climbing on a stage is more like an experiment every day. It is not about how many times you do it but how many times you do it right. The repetition of jokes is necessary for us to eventually get it right,” Ndosh said.
South Africa-based comedian, Vivi, said he was also against the recording of jokes.

Dumisani Duncan Sibandze, a comedy lover and close friend to Smallz, also did not mince words as he urged people to stop recording jokes and start attending all comedy shows.

“It is better that way. Do not record but attend,” he said.
In addition, Sibandze said comedians should not repeat jokes because according to him, that was daylight robbery.
“We attend shows for new material every day.

“They should understand that their industry is a bit different from music,” he added.
Tall Tree CEO Larry Mhlanga said he was against the recording of jokes as he believed it was illegal.
“You are destroying the comedian’s career when you record the jokes.

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