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Christine Matzke

Eritrean comedian, theater artist, musician, and sports teacher, was born on 1 February 1925 during the Italian colonial period in Eritrea in Abba Shawl, the poor segregated Eritrean quarters of the capital Asmara. His father was Kahsay Woldegebr, and his mother, Ghebriela Fitwi.

At the age of ten he attended an Orthodox Church school and then received four years of Italian schooling, the maximum period of formal education for Eritreans under Italian rule. Thereafter Alemayo worked as a messenger for an Italian lawyer and, at the age of seventeen, found employment as a stagehand in Cinema Asmara, then Teatro Asmara, an imposing Italian theater and center for Italian social and cultural life. Here Alemayo was exposed to European variety shows, operas, and cinema that fascinated him greatly, particularly the genre of comedy, such as the works of Charlie Chaplin and the Neapolitan comedian Totò.

Italian colonization was characterized by strict ...

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Jeremy Rich

actor and comedian, was born in the town of Ouragahio, Ivory Coast. His family had high aspirations for their son, and later struggled at times to understand why he chose acting over a professional career. Bohiri used drying racks for cocoa beans as material to make makeshift stages. He watched other performers and rapidly became one himself, especially because he loved to make other people laugh. At the age of ten, Bohiri watched a play by Daniel Adjé that really caught his attention. From 1974 onward Bohiri aspired to be an actor as well At this point Bohiri had not yet even completed his primary education in Ouragahio Once he entered secondary school Bohiri began to perform in numerous theatrical competitions At a performance by comedian Hilaire Gomé Gnohité Bohiri was stunned by how funny the entertainer was With Gomé Gnohité as a model the young Bohiri ...

Article

Azeddine Chergui and Hassan Bourara

Moroccan comedian, singer-composer, and film director, was born David Bensoussan on 17 April 1971 in Casablanca. His father, a mime artist, instilled in him the love of the stage at a very young age. At the age of seventeen, he moved to Quebec in Canada, a way for him to achieve the American dream without the linguistic requirement. In Canada he was initiated into the theater, had a few experiences with radio, and sporadically performed in cabarets. Intent on becoming a professional, he left for Paris and enrolled in the Cours Florent drama school, from which he graduated two years later.

His first stand-up comedy show, the autobiographical Décalages ensued immediately with a first tour to Quebec Morocco and Paris This show embodies the quintessential Gad Elmaleh a Moroccan Jew proud of his origins confronting new cultures where he must constantly negotiate his own space and define his identity ...

Article

Jeremy Rich

actor and comedian, was born on 18 June 1951 in Djatégnoa, Ivory Coast. Despite his fame as one of the most acclaimed Francophone African humorists of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, very little is available about his early life. “Gohou” is Ivoirian French slang for a poorly educated rural person, similar to “hick” in American English. He kept his real name a private matter later in his career. Gohou himself repeatedly told interviews that his early life and background did not matter. Rather than be drawn into the ethnic and national political disputes that rent his nation in civil wars in the early twenty-first century, Gohou presented himself as the archetype of a struggling African everyman. However, he did reveal some details to journalists over the years about his background. His parents were poor farmers. In 1980 his studies were interrupted by an illness that slowly ...

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Mamane  

Jeremy Rich

comedian, was born in the city of Agadez, in northern Niger on 13 September 1964, although most sources give 1966 as his birth year. One of the reasons for this discrepancy was that it was common to falsify birth dates in Niger so that children could begin their education early. He was the second child out of five. Mamane refused to give his real name on the grounds that this information “was reserved for the police and for taxes” (Hanne 2011 Mamane grew up in relative affluence despite the fact Niger was one of the poorest countries in Africa in the late twentieth century His father was a civil servant who then became a diplomat Mamane thus spent much of his youth and adolescence outside of his homeland His father served as ambassador to Algeria Cameroon Nigeria and Ivory Coast Although comic books fascinated Mamane in his ...