MEET THE BISHOP OF HU­MOUR

TD Jokes speaks to Si­nent­lahla Vulindlu about his jour­ney as a Chris­tian co­me­dian

Move! - - YOUR FAITH -

LAUGH­TER is the best medicine, and Chris­tian stand-up co­me­dian, Them­binkosi Dike (31), whose stage name is TD Jokes, uses com­edy to lift peo­ple's spir­its, earn­ing him the nick­names Mr Laugh and Be Healed. Chris­tian com­edy is a genre of com­edy where the jokes are aimed at a Chris­tian au­di­ence. It is mostly per­formed at churches or gospel events. TD Jokes,who de­scribes him­self as dis­ci­plined, ded­i­cated and de­ter­mined, was raised in a warm and lov­ing fam­ily that loves com­edy. He says while grow­ing up, he was al­ways told about the im­por­tance of ed­u­ca­tion. “I stud­ied jour­nal­ism at the Wal­ter Sisulu Uni­ver­sity, but in 2007 while do­ing my sec­ond year, I dropped out be­cause I felt like there were other things that I wanted to do to make money,” he says. “I went to work as a ra­dio pre­sen­ter at Link FM in East Lon­don un­til 2010. I then left and went back home be­cause I wanted to find my­self and think of what I wanted to do next.” He says he moved to Jo­han­nes­burg in 2011 and his friend ad­vised him to try stand-up com­edy, and that’s where it all started. “Grow­ing up I used to tell jokes, but I never thought of be­com­ing a co­me­dian.” Born in King Wil­liams Town in the Eastern Cape, TD Jokes and his four sib­lings were raised by their mother after their fa­ther, who was a preacher, passed away in 1993. "From a young age, the church has al­ways been my foun­da­tion. My par­ents in­stilled a lot of prin­ci­ples in me and I still live by them. At the age of 14, I de­cided to give my life to Christ," he says. “I didn’t choose Chris­tian com­edy, but it’s some­thing that I had to do. Chris­tian­ity has al­ways been my be­lief; it is the only thing that I know. I was al­ways liv­ing among Chris­tians and the whole ex­pe­ri­ence is my story.” When he took to the stage for the first time in 2012, he never thought it was go­ing to be his big break. He ex­ceeded peo­ple’s ex­pec­ta­tions and brought the house down with laugh­ter. He says he never ex­pected peo­ple to re­act so well to Chris­tian com­edy as it is not as pop­u­lar as main­stream com­edy. He is now a sought-after funny-man who’s a firm favourite at gospel and cor­po­rate events, hav­ing per­formed at var­i­ous events such as the 99% Xhosa Com­edy Show. TD Jokes says his main fo­cus is now on im­prov­ing his craft and build­ing As a Chris­tian co­me­dian, TD Jokes uses com­edy to lift peo­ple's spir­its his brand. “I used the ex­pe­ri­ence I had gained in me­dia and started my own en­ter­tain­ment com­pany called TDJ En­ter­tain­ment in 2015.” He was re­cently nom­i­nated in the Mzansi Chris­tian Awards as best co­me­dian. The awards will be held on 1 Oc­to­ber 2016 at the Springs Civic Cen­tre, east of Joburg. TD Jokes says it is ex­cit­ing to know that peo­ple recog­nise his work. “Be­ing nom­i­nated came as a sur­prise. How­ever, it is great to know that peo­ple recog­nise and ap­pre­ci­ate my work," he says.

AT THE AGE OF 14, I GAVE MY LIFE TO CHRIST

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