MEET THE BISHOP OF HUMOUR
TD Jokes speaks to Sinentlahla Vulindlu about his journey as a Christian comedian
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