The phrase; ‘Is he like that in real life,’ was overheard one too many times at comedian Mark Kariahuua’s ‘Black and Adulting’ solo showpiece last Friday.
Whether or not a member of the audience was referring to the comic’s theatrics throughout the night, or their randomness from one topic to the next with back to back punchlines, is not clear. But what is certain though is that Mark is one of the few effortlessly funny comedians in the country. And admittedly he is not that different when at home with his folks. Last Friday night, the comedian tore through the audience with his unique brand of comedy framed around growing up in a black household and black community. Visibly taken from a page in the story of his life, Mark pulled off a balancing act between ranting on how he did not ask to be born and fussing about how he is not ready to die. And here, it became clear that the years of trying to make a mark on the comedy stage has finally brought out the best in this Okakarara native, whose smirk reminds you that nothing is too consecrated to laugh at.
“Just imagine what would’ve happened if heaven was run by the Ovaherero people. No let me tell you, there would be no order whatsoever,” the comedian jibed, going off about how the Ovaherero would be preoccupied with their debates on who should be God instead of manning the entry. This of course resulting in utter chaos, with all hellbound characters entering and defiling that place.
He gets somewhat domestic when he talks about his run-ins with his ‘bad news’ uncles and aunts. These are the relatives whose arrivals normally herald a death in the family, or the release of fresh gossip. Here the patrons were transported into his mindset, which they discovered is full of uncomfortable encounters with people who are much more talkative than he is. “It gets really draining when you have to keep explaining to the same folks that comedy is actually your job. They keep hitting you with that, ‘so people actually pay you to talk’ question,” Mark reveals.
The sad reality of how local comedians are in reality yet to reach a real payday. “Yes we’re broke, but one has to keep that on the low you know. Like, I can’t be seen buying half a loaf of bread. And if anyone recognises me in a taxi, I vehemently deny that I even know me,” he says amidst a burst of laughter from the audience.
All things considered the night unveiled another one of Mark’s talents. He may come across as a typical Okakarara lad with a knack for humour and a sheepish grin. But he can throw a remix over a Bruno Mars song with total conviction, and his lyrical delivery and dance moves are hilariously authentic as proven in his version of Mars and Cardi B’s song titled Finesse which he renamed Omaere [cultured milk], accompanied by Helouise Goraseb on the rhymes. The comedian’s set was preceded by a performance by the evergreen Big Ben who did not cease to amaze. This is the third time that Mark fills up a venue and delivers a showstopper after his previous two solo acts reach similar feats.