Long John The Comedian

Learnmore Mwanyenyeka (born 22 August 1993) known professionally as Long John The Comedian, is a Zimbabwean stand-up comedian, actor and MC. He is also known as "The Village Boy" and has won the 2019 National Arts Merit Awards as the Outstanding Comedian of the Year and the 2019 Savanna Comic Choice Awards as the Pan African Comic of the Year. He was people's choice award winner in Steve Harvey's Stand Up Spotlight competition in 2019. In 2020 he won the National Arts Merit Awards as the Outstanding Comedian of the Year.

Long John
Long John The Comedian.jpg
Long John in 2019
Birth nameLearnmore Mwanyenyeka
Born (1993-08-22) 22 August 1993 (age 28)
Dangamvura, Mutare, Zimbabwe
  • Stand-up
  • film
  • television
Years active2010-present
  • Everyday life
  • Village life
  • Self-deprecation

Early life and educationEdit

1993 - 2010Edit

Long John was born 22 August 1993 as Learnmore Mwenyeyeka at Dangamvura Hospital in Mutare, Manicaland, Zimbabwe.[1] He never met his father and does not know his name. His mother, Memory Mwanyenyeka, is a Kindergarten teacher in South Africa. He was raised by his grandparents,[2] Partson Mwanyenyeka, a government pensioner and Lillian Mwanyenyeka in Chimanimani.

During the years 1999 to 2000, he went to Chimanimani Primary School between Grade 1 and 2. When his grandfather was retrenched from work, in 2000, they moved to Mutare where he continued his education at Sheni Primary School from Grade 3 up to the time he sat his ZIMSEC Grade 7 Certificate. In 2006, he joined Chimanimani High School, and in 2010, he sat his ZIMSEC General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level.[3]


2011 - presentEdit

After completing his O level in 2010, he went to Harare to start his comedic journey but he did not have any relatives there where he could stay. In 2011 he traveled to Bulawayo to find a comedy club but found none. In 2012 he left for Harare where he performed for the first time on 9 October 2012 at the Simuka Comedy Night hosted at Book café.[4] He was booed by the audience. For almost two years, he couldn't make people laugh at the open mic yet he kept coming back every Monday to perform.

In 2014, he then went back to Bulawayo, where a new comedy club called Umahlekisa had been formed. He was helped by the founder, Ntando Van Moyo with stage time and honing skills to be a better comedian. He became affectionately known as "The Village Boy from Chimanimani"[5][6] because of his village jokes. In October 2014, he began his first international tour in South Africa at The Box Comedy Club hosted at Pop Art Theatre Johannesburg.

In December 2015 he performed his first one man show titled The Longest Yard at Alliance Francaise Harare.[7]

27 February 2016 was the first time he opened for Barry Hilton. In the same year, he was invited to perform at the African Comedy Festival at the Hippodrum Auditorium in Golders Green in the United Kingdom.[8] While in the United Kingdom, he did a course with Laughing Horse to improve on his skills. On 22 June 2016, he hosted his second one man show titled The Village boy at the Reps Theatre in Harare, Zimbabwe.[9][10]

On 27 April 2017, Long John performed in a three day comedy festival at the Swaziland International Comedy Festival, hosted by Chigubu.[11] On 2 March 2018 he headlined the Major Moves Comedy Nights in Botswana at Zambezi Towers.[12] On 29 June, he performed in Uganda at the Kampala Comedy Festival, hosted by Okello Okello.[13][14] In July 2018, he performed in Rwanda at the Kigali International Comedy Festival along several Ugandans and Daliso Chaponda.[15]

Long John The Comedian receiving the 2019 Pan African Comic of the Year Award

In April 2019, Long John headlined at the Free Your Mind's (FYM) monthly stand-up comedy show, hosted by Courage the Comedian in Namibia.[16] In the same month, he won the National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA).[17] On 3 May 2019 he performed at the Hicofest, in Botswana.[18] On 7 September 2019 he won the Pan African Comic of The Year Awards at the 9th South African Savannah Comics Choice Awards in Johannesburg, South Africa[19][20] at the Lyric Theatre.[21] He dedicated his award to the people affected by Cyclone Idai that hit the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe in March.[22] In November, he was the people's choice award winner in the Steve Harvey's Stand Up Spotlight Competition.[23][24]

In March 2020 he won his second NAMA Award as Outstanding Comedian of the Year.[25][26] In October 2020, Long John won the Best Stand up Comedy Award at the All The Laughs Comedy Awards hosted in Atlanta.[27][28] He was then nominated in three categories; People's Choice Awards, Outstanding Achievement in Entertainment and Male Personality of the Year for in the 6th annual Zimbabwe Achievers Awards South Africa (ZAA SA)[29][30] and he won as Male Personality of the Year during the award ceremony in December.[31]

In 2021, Long John was part of the cast of the second season of Savanna Virtual Comedy Bar hosted by Comedy Central on DStv[32][33].

One Man ShowsEdit

  • 2015 - The Longest Yard
  • 2016 - The Village Boy




Year Show Roles Notes Netwwork
2018 Mzansi Comedy Nights Mzansi Magic (DStv)
2018 The Last Laugh with Stuart Taylor Showmax
2019 Funny People Africa Showmax

Awards and NominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominees Result
2019 National Arts Merit Awards Outstanding Comedian of the Year Sharon Chideu aka Magi and Dumisani Hubert Ndlovu aka Maforty-forty Won[17]
2019 Savannah Comic Choice Awards Pan African Comic of the Year Alfred Kainga (Zimbabwe), Anne Kansiime (Uganda), Basketmouth (Nigeria) and Chingliz(Zambia). Won.[19][20]
2019 Steve Harvey's Standup Spotlight People's Choice Award Won[23][24]
2020 National Arts Merit Awards Outstanding Comedian of the Year Maforty, and Andrew Manyika Won[25][26]
2020 All The Laughs Comedy Awards Best Stand Up Comedy Won[27][28]
2020 Zimbabwe Achievers Awards SA Peoples Choice Awards Vongai Mapho, Lewis John, Shasha, Chaka Photography, Odette Chiedza Chikwiti Nominated[29][30]
2020 Zimbabwe Achievers Awards SA Outstanding Achievement in Entertainment Shasha, Nkululeko “Chunky” Phiri, Tuks Tad Lungu, Q Dube Siziba Nominated[29][30]
2020 Zimbabwe Achievers Awards SA Male Personality of The Year Tawanda Tadzimirwa, Gift Ngwenya, Babusi Nyoni, Tawanda Chikasha Won[31]


  1. ^ Sibanda, Tinashe (17 November 2019). "Comedian Long John's star shines". DailyNews. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  2. ^ Moyo, Grant (28 February 2021). "Long John laughs his way up". The Standard. Retrieved 2021-10-22.
  3. ^ Herald, The (15 November 2019). "Long John goes down memory lane". The Herald. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  4. ^ Staff Reporter (11 March 2018). "I want to take Zim comedy global: Long John". The Standard. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  5. ^ Moyo, Andrew (14 September 2019). "Long John hits the mark | The Sunday Mail". Archived from the original on 2019-09-14. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  6. ^ Review, Mining & Travel (13 February 2018). "Major Moves Comedy Presents Village Boy Long John (Village Boy)". Mining & Travel. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  7. ^ Mugugunyeki, Moses (16 July 2017). "My lanky figure draws comedy: Long John". The Standard. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  8. ^ Moyo, Andrew (17 April 2016). "Long John takes his jokes to London". Sunday Mail. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  9. ^ Mugugunyeki, Moses (27 May 2018). "Village boy heads back home". The Standard. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  10. ^ Gomendo, Panashe (29 June 2018). "Long John Gets Rural at REPS & Kicks off Global Tour • #ENTHUSE MAG". #ENTHUSE MAG. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  11. ^ Chida, Precious (25 April 2017). "Zim comedians for Swazi comedy fest". News Day. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  12. ^ Sibaya, MacD (19 February 2018). "Long John headlines Major Moves Comedy night next month". Botswana Unplugged. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  13. ^ Sqoop, Admin (28 June 2018). "Uganda to host regional comedians at Kampala comedy festival". Sqoop. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  14. ^ Marunya, Kundai (12 July 2018). "Local comedian conquers East Africa". The Herald. Archived from the original on 12 July 2018. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  15. ^ Opobo, Moses (30 July 2018). "Low turn up, no show stars at Kigali International Comedy Festival". The New Times. Archived from the original on 2019-10-22. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  16. ^ Mukaiwa, Martha (11 April 2019). "Zim's Long John makes FYM comedy debut". Namibian. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Full list of NAMA 2019 winners". Nehanda Radio. 14 April 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  18. ^ Sibaya, MacD (26 April 2019). "Laughter looms at the 7th HICOFEST slated for Masa Square Hotel". Botswana Unplugged. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  19. ^ a b Chida, Precious (10 September 2019). "Comedian scoops top African award". NewsDay Zimbabwe. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  20. ^ a b 3=mob., com (8 September 2019). "Zim's Long John wins SA Comics Choice Award". 3-mob.com. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  21. ^ Moyo, Andrew (14 July 2019). "Alfred Kainga, Long John up for top comedy award | The Sunday Mail". Archived from the original on 2019-07-14. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  22. ^ Ndlovu, Zandila Zaza (20 September 2019). "Comedian dedicates award to cyclone victims – The Sunday Mail". Archived from the original on 2019-09-20. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  23. ^ a b Ndlovu, Zandile Zaza (10 November 2019). "Long John wins Steve Harvey competition". The Sunday Mail. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  24. ^ a b Machaya, Prince (8 November 2019). "Zimbabwean comedian Long John wins Steve Harvey stand-up competition". Zimlive.com. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  25. ^ a b Ndoro, Tim. E (1 March 2020). "Here Is The Full List Of The 2020 NAMA Award Winners". iHarare News. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  26. ^ a b Ndabambi, Tsitsi (3 March 200). "Joker Of All Times Gets Another Gong". Showbiz. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  27. ^ a b Nyavaya, Kennedy (25 October 2020). "Long John basks in new award glory | The Standard". The Standard. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  28. ^ a b "Comedian Long John scoops another American award Showbiz Reporter". The Chronicle. 21 October 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  29. ^ a b c "ZAA SA nominees announced as dates set for SA, Botswana voting". Nehanda Radio. 26 October 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  30. ^ a b c Ncube, Audrey L (4 December 2020). "Former Scandal Actress Mbo Mahocs To Host Zim Achievers Awards SA". iHarare News. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  31. ^ a b Ncube, Taboka (8 December 2020). "Zim Achievers Awards SA edition: Shasha keeps shining". ZBC NEWS. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  32. ^ Reporter, Staff (8 June 2021). "'Savanna Virtual Comedy Bar' season 2 kicks off with star-studded launch". TimesLIVE. Retrieved 2021-10-22.
  33. ^ Karabo Joyce, Liam (4 July 2021). "Tumi Morake to headline Comedy Central Live at the Savanna Virtual Comedy Bar finale". www.iol.co.za. Retrieved 2021-10-22.

External linksEdit