Floods and all but #1stOfAll...
This was no ordinary comedy show. It was about the masterful art of township storytelling.
No tricks, no gimmicks, and no one was spared on Wednesday when the king of township comedy, Skhumbuzo Hlophe, better known as Kaya FM’s Skhumba, unleashed kasi vibes on his audience for his one-man show, titled #1stOfAll.
Not only did the Tembisa native sell out The Lyric theatre on a school night, he also mimicked the day’s flash floods by suddenly opening valves of laughter on the masses attending his show.
Out of nowhere, there was suddenly a guy on stage – Thapelo King Flat Mametja – who poked fun at Limpopo people’s colourful dress sense, Pedi taxi drivers who are forced to speak isiZulu in Johannesburg and the effect of antiretroviral drugs on patients’ size.
Then Skhumba took his audience back to the time when hi-fi speakers were taken outside to make sure that the entire neighbourhood knew you had the latest Mariah Carey CD. He referred to that mentally unstable guy who’s laughed at by the entire township and, of course, the shenanigans that go on in the infamous “back rooms”.
He got his points across by being explicit and vulgar, and without any sensitivity. He referred to those alcoholic uncles, stingy grandfathers and even former lovers who thought you would not amount to anything. Nothing was sacred – not the tales of “troublesome yellow bones”; sex or the lack thereof; black taxis; not even the shady-establishment-frequenting tendencies of black people who have “arrived” and are now living in leafy suburbs.
While the rest of the world’s day was dominated by Donald Trump’s surprise ascendance to power, in South Africa the day witnessed parts of the country being ravaged by rains, which citizens had desperately prayed for.
Once again Skhumba proved that there is a huge market for vernacular and township comedy in South Africa.