Victor Mpofu, aka Doc Vikela, is using satire to shine a light on Zimbabwe’s political problems, reaching a growing online audience despite living in fear of retribution.
In his skits, Mpofu assumes the character of President Emmerson Mnangagwa with a trademark colourful scarf and mimicking his speech style and at times mocking some of the president’s decisions.
Doc Vickela’s followers on YouTube channel Simuka Comedy have grown from less than 1 000 subscribers in January when he ventured into political satire to 23 000 now. He said:
Are you in Zimbabwe?
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What we are simply saying is that there are problems. These problems we are highlighting through our content. We say ‘do you feel we should continue going on like this’?
You don’t know whether your content will touch on the right nerve or wrong nerve so you always live in fear.
The 34-year-old father of two conceded that his comedy work is difficult because he has to live with the fear of disappearing or being abducted.
In one recent skit, Doc Vickela, speaking as Mnangagwa, justifies naming his deputy Constantino Chiwenga as health minister citing his admission into foreign hospitals as experience for the job.