True Love

Celebrate Life – The New Queens Of Comedy

You’re in for a good chuckle — meet four women who are setting Mzansi’s comedy scene alight with their unique brand of hilarity



The Soweto-born comedienne is a film and directing graduate from AFDA. In 2015, the new mommy swapped film editing for cracking jokes, and featured on MTV’s You Got Got.

How I got into comedy: A friend dared me to try stand-up because he thought I was funny. Whoever got the most laughs between us had to stay, so needless to say, I’m still here! I entered the Nandos Comedy Festival competitio­n in 2011 and actually won. That was my biggest break — I got to share stages with internatio­nal acts, the likes of Pablo Francisco and Mark Curry.

First time I bombed on stage: I didn’t know what to do — I was sweating, cotton-mouthed and really wanted to die. Now I know that when a joke bombs, therein lies my lesson. I usually make a joke of the bad performanc­e and move on. My biggest learning curve: To respect the people who come to watch me. You could be on stage cracking up 99.9% of your audience, yet want to dwell on the 0.1 % that isn’t responding. I’ve learnt not to sacrifice the 99% — not everyone will appreciate my comedy.

Joke I wish was mine: It’s about being African in Africa, but I won’t share the full details because it hurts how it was right under my nose but I never thought of it. I won’t mention the comedian’s name either because I don’t want to inflate their ego [chuckles].

My pre-show routine: I go through my material and pace up and down, especially if it’s new material. Then, believe it or not, I play Candy Crush. I’m obsessed with it – I’m currently on an embarrassi­ngly high level. Advice for dealing with tjatjarag relatives this season: When older relatives ask about marriage, I retort with ‘when is your funeral sizodla inyama [so we can eat meat?]’ They won’t have a comeback!


The mom of three, who hails from Empangeni, KZN, has been on the comedy circuit for two years. She may appear soft-spoken, but she definitely has a bite. She scooped the Best Indigenous Comedian award at the Traditiona­l Music Awards in 2016. How I got into comedy: I was desperate to find something to do after I’d quit my job in data capturing. My initial plan was to win a tender so I could start a youth developmen­t programme. I saw a comedy show poster, and made contact with the organiser. I’d never done stand-up but knew that people always laughed every time I was an MC. After that gig, I got called to do something else and have never looked back.

First time I bombed on stage: It was my first show, and of course it was because I was new. Since then, I’ve never had a show where people don’t laugh — even if they don’t fall over laughing, I’ll at least get a giggle out of them. When that happens, I usually say: ‘Inkinga yi nina (you’re the problem), my jokes are funny’. My biggest learning curve: I’ve learnt not to wait for anyone to give me exposure. When I started out in 2016, I was pregnant with my last daughter and wasn’t booking jobs. Guess what? I did my own limited edition show.

Joke I wish was mine: Celeste Ntuli’s joke about how black men are only nice when they’re guilty. So, if he buys you flowers or a new car, know that he probably cheated. I love it because it’s true!

My pre-show routine: I still get nervous before going on stage so I pray.

Advice for dealing with tjatjarag relatives this season: Those relatives who are always quick to ask what you are doing with your life, are usually the ones doing nothing with theirs. Tell them to get a life!


The former high school geographyt­eacher-turned-comedian from Whittlesea in the Eastern Cape found her comic calling through So You Think You’re Funny. She’s also ventured into acting, appearing on Bantu Hour, Ses’Top La and Scandal!. How I got into comedy: I entered the So You Think You’re Funny competitio­n in 2009, and made it to the top four — that’s when I realised that I was onto something. I didn’t pay comedy much attention until 2011 when I moved to Joburg to see what the scene had to offer. I’ve since won the 2015 Comics Choice Award in the Audience Choice category as well as the Internatio­nal Delphic Comedy Championsh­ips last year.

First time I bombed on stage: It was at Morula Sun. I’d been warned about the audience, but went ahead anyway. People drink, mingle and forget about the comedian on stage. I’ve learnt to know my type of audience —I’d rather have people listen to me and not laugh!

My biggest learning curve: Our industry has many camps and at times you don’t get booked, not because you’re unfunny, but more because you’re not friends with the right people. I’ve managed to push through because if you concentrat­e on the noise, you’ll be easily discourage­d. Joke I wish was mine: I can’t think of a specific one, but I know it happens a lot. As comedians, we mostly get our material from similar subjects.

My pre-show routine: I usually keep to myself. I find that if I don’t get into my corner to be with myself and recite my lines, I never deliver my best on stage. I used to get so nervous, I wouldn’t eat anything, but I can now handle my pre-show jitters.

Advice for dealing with tjatjarag relatives this season: Tell them that marriage and kids don’t feature on your priorities list. Be upfront!


The Zeerust-born and Pretoria-based comedienne took a chance with the jokes she used to make as head chef at Thulani Game Lodge & Eco Estate in Thabazimbi. The Funny Chef was born when her videos started going viral.

How I got into comedy: To liven up the mood in the kitchen at work, I’d crack jokes because people were always so serious. I started posting my videos online in 2010 — I wasn’t ready to do stand-up. But for some reason, the videos started trending last year. In October 2017, I turned my back on formal employment to concentrat­e on comedy and my food business. First time I bombed on stage: At my first gig, I think people laughed because they remembered my videos, not because I was funny. I don’t remember what I said that night, but I learnt that storytelli­ng and jokes must always collate. Afterwards, I used smaller venues and open mic sessions to practise, but made sure to never lose my authentic s’Pitori style. My biggest learning curve: Not everyone will like you or have your best interests at heart. Sadly, it’s mostly my female peers that don’t give me love, but the guys are always kind enough to spur me on and give advice where necessary.

Joke I wish was mine: One of Noko Moswete’s jokes. I forgot it, but just remember that it was super smart. My pre-show routine: I pray and, weird as it may sound, I chop something, especially onions. Chopping or organising my kitchen calms my nerves.

Advice for dealing with tjatjarag relatives this season: It irks every time I get asked ‘o nyala neng?’ (When are you getting married?), when they don’t even know if you’re dating. Nobody will ever ask if you’re happy. We actually need to just stop with the silly questions! If you must respond, just tell them that it’s all up to God’s timing.

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