Jokes have always been part of African culture, but never have they been so blended with the strains and gains of the contemporary African world as today. Joke-Performance in Africa describes and analyses the diverse aesthetics, forms, and media of jokes and their performance and shows how African jokes embody the anxieties of the time and space in which they are enacted.

The book considers the pervasive phenomenon of jokes and their performance across Africa in such forms as local jests, street jokes, cartoons, mchongoano, ewhe-eje, stand-up comedy, internet sex jokes, and ‘comicast’ transmitted via modern technology media such as the TV, CDs, DVDs, the internet platforms of YouTube, Facebook, and other social arenas, as well as live performances. Countries represented are Egypt, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, and Zambia, covering the North, West, East and Southern Africa. The book explores the description of the joke form from various perspectives, ranging from critical discourse analysis, interviews, humour theories, psychoanalysis, the postcolony and technauriture, to the interactive dramaturgy of joke-performances, irrespective of media and modes of performance.

Containing insightful contributions from leading African scholars, the book acquaints readers with detailed descriptions of the diverse aesthetics of contemporary African jokes, thereby contributing to the current understanding of joke-performance in Africa. It will appeal to students and scholars of African studies, popular culture, theatre, performance studies and literary studies.

chapter |15 pages


ByIgnatius Chukwumah

part I|54 pages

Joking about the government

chapter 1|21 pages

(Re)imagining the postcolony in Kenya’s The XYZ Show joke-cartoons

ByRemmy Shiundu Barasa

chapter 2|23 pages

Nigeria’s 2015 presidential elections and the rise of “comicast”

ByIgnatius Chukwumah

chapter 3|9 pages

Joking about the government

A close reading of the Moroccan comic show The School of the Naughty
ByZakariae Bouhmala

part II|61 pages

Traditional forms and (post)modern contexts

chapter 4|17 pages


Art and humour in Urhobo joke-performance
ByPeter E. Omoko

chapter 5|14 pages

Aesthetics of Anganga Afiki’s video joke-performance in Malawi

BySmith Likongwe

chapter |13 pages

Egyptian satire in the modern media age

BySebastian Gadomski

part III|47 pages

Street jokes

chapter 8|22 pages

(Con)text and performance of Mchongoano

An urban youth joke genre in Kenya
ByWangari Mwai, Charles Kebaya, David Kimongo

chapter 9|24 pages

Street joke-performance in Egypt

Halah and Outa Hamra
ByHeba M. Sharobeem

part IV|64 pages

Gender and sex

chapter 10|24 pages

The aesthetics of the ugly

Perspectives on degrading online sex jokes in Kenya
ByFelix A. Orina, Fred W. Simiyu

chapter 11|20 pages

Dorika’s metamorphosis

The allusive potency of a comic character
ByCheela H. K. Chilala

chapter |19 pages

From “the beautiful” to “the bold”

A linguistic analysis of some of Doaa Farouk’s humorous texts 1
ByMona Eid Saad

part V|47 pages

Stand-up comedy

chapter 13|24 pages

Severity in hilarity

Appraising the satirical value of stand-up comedy in Nigeria
BySamuel O. Igomu

chapter 14|22 pages

Ideological undertones in mediatized comedy in the Churchill Show of Kenya

ByKhaemba Josephine Mulindi, Michael M. Ndonye