Michele Teboul   24 November 2018

Alfred Kainga WorldRemit

At WorldRemit we love to celebrate the lives of people from the African diaspora: people who’ve moved thousands of miles from their home in pursuit of their dreams.

Comedian Alfred Kainga is one such person. Born in Mbare, Harare, Kainga attended Chitsere Primary School and then went on to attend Prince Edward High School (PE).

“I’ve had a very diverse upbringing. I grew up in the ‘ghetto’ in my childhood years, which toughened me up. Then moving to Cranbourne at 14 and going to PE allowed me to see another side and how to blend in with people of various backgrounds.”

Initially, Kainga pursued music before taking up comedy full-time.

“Music is what I wanted to pursue when I was still in Zimbabwe. In fact, music was the first thing I did when I was still there and had a gospel group.”

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The move to the States and a comedy career

Alfred moved to the United States in the early 2000s and entered the Dallas Comedy Scene in 2006 as an open micer. He turned professional in 2010 after he was spotted by local club owners and managers.

“I moved to the States almost two decades ago. It wasn’t easy moving to a foreign country where I didn’t know anybody and had no family. But it became apparent when I moved, that comedy was something I could make a living out of.”

Kainga took a 12-month break from comedy in 2007, as he felt he wasn’t realising his dream and didn’t understand the business. But then…

“Something in me always lit up when it came to comedy and being in front of people. My heart wasn’t settled during that 12-month break and I knew I had to persevere and go after what was essentially my calling.”

So in 2008, Alfred returned to the scene with renewed focus and determination. And since then he’s never looked back.

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He was a finalist in the Shaq All Star Comedy Competition in 2014 and in the Funniest Comic in Texas Competition in the same year. This earned him a guest appearance on Rudy Rush’s tour. Alfred also performed in universities and colleges across Texas.

“Despite the fact that I hadn’t won, they wanted me to come out and do a guest spot for that show, which meant I had the opportunity to be on stage and work with Rudy Rush.” Kainga said that the audience was amazing and Rudy gave him a fantastic shout out after.

“Rudy got on stage and said that I was hilarious and since then I’ve worked with him a couple more times.”

While Alfred has been successful in comedy clubs in Texas, his work has also been recognised nationally and internationally. He’s appeared in clubs across the US and was one of a few comedians featured in the first season of Kevin Hart’s Comedy Central show, ‘Hart of the City’.

He’s also worked alongside some of the most celebrated comedians in the US, including Bruce Bruce, Capone, Michael Collier and Tony Roberts. He recently toured with Basketmouth, with shows in Nigeria and at the Wembley Arena in London.

“The shows in Nigeria and London were huge for me. I love performing in Africa and have just done a comedy festival in Uganda.”

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Staying ahead of the game

Alfred said his journey has had its highs and lows, but the fundamentally he’s learnt to never give up or pay attention to what the next person’s doing.

I’ve seen people surpass me - people who arrived on the scene way after me. It’s human nature to feel frustrated, but the most important thing is to stay in your lane and not give up because you don’t know where you’ll end up.”

Kainga said that perseverance has always been key to his success and that staying ahead of the game, in a competitive industry like comedy, is down to creativity and remaining original.

“The truth is, someone will always be doing bigger and better than you, but don’t look at someone else’s journey, focus on your own.”

Talent in Africa

After winning the 2018 Zimbabwe Achiever’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Entertainment, Alfred said that there’s a lot of talent in Africa and we’ve yet to see more from them.

“My advice to rising African comedians is to be original, work on their craft and believe in themselves.”

He added, “They should never conform to society. If they feel like what they’re doing is funny and that’s what they have to offer, then they should not deviate from that.”

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Next up!

Alfred, who’s currently on a worldwide tour, said that he has a busy schedule over the next few months.

“I’ve just completed my tour in Nigeria and Uganda and the next stops are Dubai, Jamaica, Cape Town and Johannesburg, as well as Kenya. I will finish off in Zimbabwe. It’s quite an arduous schedule but I am looking forward to it.”

So, we sure are his fans.
Catch him if you can - click here to find his upcoming shows.

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