December 08, 2020
The British-Zimbabwean comedian is one of the year’s breakout stars thanks to characters like posh drill Rapper Unknown P, hilariously skewering hypocrisies around race and class
Its been a battle to express my personality: Munya Chawawa, Instagrams finest satirist
Any time there’s an incident that highlights the racism in British public life, Munya Chawawa will have skewered it while it’s still trending. The lightning-fast British-Zimbabwean sketch comedian has recently lampooned PureGym’s 12 Years a Slave-themed workouts, the white outrage at Sainsbury’s Black History Month initiatives and the complaints to ITV over Black Lives Matter protests on Britain’s Got Talent, within hours of them making headlines. His rapier satire has earned him half a million Instagram followers and a nomination at this week’s Mobo awards, and he landed a major label record deal for his character Unknown P, a posh drill rapper.
Young, Black, bold and political, the 27-year-old’s unwavering confidence and humour are being celebrated at a time when few Black people can speak about racism or critique the government without receiving swathes of abuse. He created the character of racist newsreader Barty Crease after attending a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest and seeing the media characterise it as violent. “There’s nothing funny about what happened to George Floyd, but there’s something very maliciously comical about how the press is treating this pain,” he says. Nevertheless, critics have said he straddles a fine line between confronting white viewers and trivialising racism.
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