Who is Learnmore Jonasi? Zim comedian wows America’s Got Talent judges

Who is Learnmore Jonasi? Zim comedian wows America’s Got Talent judges

By Agencies

Terry Crews was once Learnmore Jonasi’s childhood inspiration. Now the America’s Got Talent Host is one of the Zimbabwe comedian’s most enthusiastic fans.

In an epic and heart-warming full-circle moment on the Season 19 premiere of the talent competition, Crews bestowed the starstruck comic with the coveted Golden Buzzer after a hilarious stand-up routine had the audience in stitches.

“Is this a dream? Is this happening?” an astonished Jonasi uttered before jokingly asking Crews to “punch” him just to make sure it was real.

Why was Learnmore Jonasi starstruck by Terry Crews?

Before the golden confetti reigned down, sending Jonasi straight to the live rounds, the comedian shared where his love for Crews began as a child. While growing up in Zimbabwe, Jonasi watched Crews in the movie White Chicks with his grandparents, often laughing at his character’s signature move.

“I used to mimic that all the time when I was a kid,”” he said, adding that he knew he wanted “to be like him when I grow up.”

Fast forward years later and Jonasi was getting a chance to meet his childhood idol in person.

After spotting Crews backstage, the former football star dropped what he was doing to say hello.

“I’m a big fan of yours,” a stunned Jonasi told him.

“Good to see you, boy,” Crews replied, while giving him a hug.

“All the way from Zimbabwe. I used to watch you as a kid and you made — I’m here because of you,” Jonasi said.

Crews was honoured and promised to talk more with Jonasi later, but even their brief exchange left the comedian reeling.

“Wow. Ok, Alright. Nothing will top this, like I could go home now. I think I’m done,” he joked to producers.

What jokes earned Learnmore Jonasi a Golden Buzzer?

Learnmore Jonasi on stage during AGT Episode 1901.
Learnmore Jonasi appears on America’s Got Talent Episode Season 19 Episode 1 “Auditions 1”. Photo: Trae Patton/NBC

Luckily for AGT fans, Jonasi didn’t go home and instead had the judges and audience howling with his unique blend of stand up and physical comedy that paid homage to his African roots.

“You see I come from a small village in Zimbabwe,” he began. “Far away from everything, where the simplest of things, you know, ignites our excitement. Like they recently installed a traffic light in my village. Everybody was so excited about this traffic light, we were all taking photos with it.”

Jonasi then used the microphone stand as a makeshift traffic light and hilariously struck his best photo-worthy pose.

The comedian also pointed out Zimbabwe’s lacking cell phone reception and the unique way in which they all stay in touch with one another.

“Our people are so old school, we don’t even use social media. To view someone’s photos you have to visit their house first. Look around the house, you know looking at all the photos in the house, I like this one,” he said while pretending to point to a photo on stage. “Oh, and I like this one, I would like to share this one,” he said before pretending to hold a photo up in the air.

During the two-minute routine, Jonasi also poked fun at America, offering his unexpected observations after arriving to the country.

“But now I’m in America, man, just into this country, man, everything is new to me,” he said. “Like when I first came to America I saw something I didn’t know existed. I saw poor white people.”

As the audience erupted into laughter, he continued, “What?! How is this possible? This white guy was like can I have a $1? I was like, ‘I came here to ask you for a $1!’”

Who is Learnmore Jonasi?

Born as Learnmore Mwenyeyeka on August 22, 1993, at Dangamvura Hospital in Mutare, Zimbabwe, he grew up without ever knowing his father’s identity, raised by his grandparents Partson and Lillian Mwanyenyeka in Chimanimani.

Despite encountering challenges early in life, Learnmore pursued his education at various schools in Zimbabwe. Eventually, he ventured to Harare in pursuit of his comedic dreams, where he encountered initial setbacks but persevered with determination. Despite being booed by the audience, he returned to the open mic every Monday, determined to spread laughter for the next two years.

After struggling to find his footing in Harare, Learnmore sought opportunities in Bulawayo and eventually found his comedic voice at the Umahlekisa comedy club, earning the affectionate moniker ‘The Village Boy from Chimanimani’ for his witty anecdotes about rural life.

Under the mentorship of Ntando Van Moyo, Learnmore honed his skills and embarked on an international tour that kickstarted his successful career in comedy. His journey from a small town in Zimbabwe to the stages of renowned comedy clubs is a testament to his resilience and talent.

Throughout his career, Learnmore Jonasi has been the recipient of numerous prestigious accolades. Often referred to as ‘The Village Boy,’ he has been recognized for his talent and humor with awards such as the 2019 National Arts Merit Award for Outstanding Comedian of the Year and the 2019 Savanna Comic Choice Award for Pan African Comic of the Year.

Additionally, the Mutare native was the recipient of the People’s Choice Award in Steve Harvey’s Stand Up Spotlight competition in 2019. Continuing his streak of success, Jonasi was once again bestowed with the National Arts Merit Award for Outstanding Comedian of the Year in 2020.

The renowned stand-up comedian Steve Harvey was thoroughly impressed by the comedic prowess of Learnmore Jonasi, praising him for his wit, energy, and commanding presence on stage. Harvey encouraged Jonasi to persist in honing his skills and hailed him as a rising star in the world of comedy.

“You are funny, animated and have great stage presence. Keep it up champ,” Harvey told Learnmore.

'AGT' Season 19 contestant Learnmore Jonasi was People’s Choice award winner in Steve Harvey’s Stand Up Spotlight (Instagram/@learnmore_jonasi)
‘AGT’ Season 19 contestant Learnmore Jonasi was a People’s Choice award winner in Steve Harvey’s Stand Up Spotlight (Instagram/@learnmore_jonasi)

Is ‘AGT’ Season 19 star Learnmore Jonasi also an actor?

In addition to his work as a standup comedian and MC, Learnmore Jonasi has ventured into the world of acting. With several television credits under his belt, he has showcased his talent on popular shows like ‘Mzansi Comedy Nights’, ‘The Last Laugh with Stuart Taylor’, and ‘Funny People Africa’.