”It can't be different because the country itself, in everyday life, offers us a lot of raw material and we have this natural ability to, with the less good things, manage to produce jokes. And today, with the size and access to the Internet, we can see other comedians and that makes us much better”, he says.
Kotingo, 40 years old, considers that when “other aspects, other forms of humor that come from abroad” are added to the way of being Angolan, this “only adds and reflects” what Angolan comedians do professionally.
Although Angola offers “a lot of raw material” for humor, Kotingo refrains from entering the field of politics, when asked if it is possible to play with the MPLA or UNITA.
“It's not really my thing. When it comes to the limit of humor, I don't see limits to humor. I learned that the limit is within each person. Now, as for political issues, I think it is completely different with what is done in other parts of the world”, he replies.
"I'm not stupid. I'm not stupid. What is sometimes called 'fear' or something like that, I call 'love of life'", he reinforces.
According to Kotingo, “if there are thousands of ways to make humor, several subjects can be approached. A country is made in many ways and I have my way of contributing to my country”.
However, Kotingo refuses to take responsibility for what anyone who listens to a joke will feel.
“I start from the principle that before being professionals, we are human beings. But I cannot be responsible for what the other will feel. Within me there is the intention to make people laugh, to have fun, because I have no intention of hurting anyone, but I am not responsible for the interpretation of other people either”, he warns.
“Sometimes intelligence is demanded from the comedian but forgets to demand it from those who listen to us. You also have to be smart enough to understand the joke”, he adds.
Kotingo lost his left arm after a serious car accident in 2018, when returning from a show and underwent multiple surgeries. In his performances he has no problem addressing his own “physical disability”.
“I didn't lose an arm. It was an arm that lost me ”, he explains, returning to the question of the limits of humor, and regrets that there are more and more“ socially imposed prohibitions ”on the topics with which humor can be made.
“I no longer consider myself a comedian: I consider myself stubborn. Why? Because societies prohibit more and more. You can't make fun of anything: politics can't, religion can't, cripples can't, blind can't, fat can't, skinny can't, hungry people can't, animals can't. Can't do anything. So if we still exist, it's because of stubbornness”, he points out.
As for the way he prepares and works with his material for the shows, Kotingo considers himself “very observant”. “Unfortunately I have to be. Because sometimes I fail to enjoy the moment, because I'm pointing out, because if I don't point out I forget. And I'm testing. There are true stories, others that are imaginary, but I always mix it up”, he says.
He doesn't remember when he started to make fun, but he is aware that it all started by making friends and family laugh. “But I got into this world because of money. It wasn't because I like to do it, no. Money indeed. The taste came later, ”he says.
Now, with more experience and patience, Kotingo says he understands “the path better” and sees himself in the next 10 years as a “well-known, well-respected, highly valued comedian with many, many countries happy” with his work.
“I think that what is good about us, as human beings, the world should have access to, the world should know about, and my content, I believe is good for people. And that which is good must not be hoarded. So, I believe that the more body I gain, artistically speaking, the more people will be cured”, he concludes.
Born in Benguela, Edgar Simone Tchipoia became Kotingo when he began to imitate, as a joke, the accent of a man with that name who worked on one of his father's works. The enjoyment he provoked in imitation led to Kotingo being treated as such.
Kotingo will perform in Lisbon, at the emblematic B.Leza, and Cacém on the 22nd of April and 5th of May, respectively, with the show “Só Vou Pôr A Cabeça”, a solo in which he addresses various themes related to life from him.