Carl Joshua Ncube is more than just a comedian. Day in day out, the guy lives his script. And, life seems to love his comedy and it favours him with all the time to live the act. Let us face it, this is not a script for one of his hilarious comedies.
A spitting distance from the Mayor’s office in Victoria Falls lies a ramshackle shell of a bus without wheels and engine, and its sorry state obviously exudes the timbre of “once upon a time on the road story”.
Ten tents are dotted around the shell, as if to give credence to why is not in the scrap yard, where its ilk belongs. But hey, this is Carl’s new home.
Dubbed the Camp-Feel-Good project, Carl’s new home has instantly changed the face of Victoria Falls and has become a tourist attraction of its own kind. Residents and tourists alike, jostle to get a glimpse of it. Carl’s wife Nelsy, is part of the cast and stays with her husband in one of the tents.
Carl and Nelsy decided in January 2019 to move away from their luxurious rented apartment in the resort town in order to start a life as campers, tour operators and entertainers. Their dream is to traverse not only the whole of Zimbabwe but the whole world.
“Well it all started as a debate between the two of us at home when we were preparing a road show for our next comedy.
“Our dream was to one day, stay in a place we call home. This project was conceived and we call it Alternative Home Sweet Home,” says Carl.
Indeed this is home sweet home.
In January, the two bought ten small tents, very colourful to start a tourism camping project and also bought an eleventh one which they were going to stay in. Staying in the camp was meant to be a demonstration to all that camping is not in any way an inferior way of spending a holiday. The tents are well bedded and breakfast is provided in situ.
The target market is the domestic tourists as the price tag was put at a very low bar. As Carl would state with a smile on his face, anyone who owned ten tents was deemed to be very rich in biblical times. So he is.
The comedian went into the merciless market and made his name. The first customer to “test” the product was one Zimbabwean man who spent time alone for about ten days to their amusement. As days passed bye, the place which is in continuous development has turned out to be the top talk of town.
To make sure that the clients get the best of their experience in the tents, the pair treat every visitor as family. Dinner time is for everyone including the tent owners. The same goes for breakfast while lunch is optional.
Entertainment and dinning time is decorated with lots of comics and a repeat of various life stories that are meant to encourage especially the young that in life, good achievement come with hard work and focus. The obvious sight that confronts one upon getting to the camp site is a bus shell that looks dilapidated from the outside.
The bus is nicknamed Bumblebee after. The name comes from a huge family of bees that visited the site and stayed side by side with campers for close to two weeks about the same time that the bus came along.
The bus that is being turned into a mobile office and off the grid caravan. The bus was acquired from a tour operator who wanted to thrw it away after it had done its bit.
For Carl and Nelsy, this is their new bus.
“This is our new bus,” they quip.
The two are now at an advanced stage in rehabilitating the inner part of the bus. The back side has been innovated into a shower and bathroom area. The middle part has two gas stoves, a kitchen sink and a working area. There is a couch that gives comfort overlooking the kitchen area.
The front part has been turned into a bed room with one fitted double bed behind the curtains. To Carl and Nelsy, their works are synonymous with how the Government is fixing the national economy.
“It is always best to fix the inside first and then fix the outside when all else is good to go. Electric codes and plumbing works run through the deck of the bus and some solar panels are on standby for midnight work.
“Once the construction of the bus is complete, it shall be pulled by any four by four vehicle and will work as a multipurpose vessel. During the day, it will be an office for campers while at meal times, it will be their kitchen.
“At night, it shall be a bedroom for the two business partner love birds while the rest of their clients will enjoy the freshness of nature in the tents,’’ he explained.
Carl intends to traverse the whole Zimbabwe soon with is mobile camping clinic. Wherever he holds shows, he will provide accommodation in the tents to those of his fans who may not want to travel back home at night. The tents are also available to be hired for shows such as the carnival, marathon, church Pentecostal celebrations and the like.
In the ultimate, the business intends to acquire a double deck modern bus and convert it into a tech savvy innovative off the grid electric motor home to live in and travel from Cape to Cairo while learning different cultures, languages and food preferences.
When Carl’s life will be told, his epitaph, will not be complete without saying, he lived his comedy. Let the comedy of his life continue into eternity. Victoria Falls will never be the same. Never!