​Homage to the motherland

Describe yourself in a sentence.

I’m an introvert with extroverted tendencies.

Describe your ideal reader.

Cosmopolitan in their views of life.

What is your favourite kind of book?

I love reading autobiographies. Getting to share in the inner workings of another person’s life and mind is something I cherish about a great book.

How did you approach telling your autobiographical stories?

To be honest, I just told the stories to people I know. Then I recorded them, transcribed them and then, with the help of my editor, put all the pieces into the right places.

Did the work of David Sedaris influence how you told your life story?

I read a number of story and essay collections while thinking about the book, mostly by other comedians. Sedaris was one of them, but hardly the main one. It was more to get an idea of what I didn’t want to do, which was to write a jokey humour book. I wanted to tell real stories from my life and from South Africa — to pay tribute to my mother and everything she did for me — and let the humour flow naturally from the characters and the situations, not artificially inserted punch lines.

Which comedians have inspired you most and how?

Comedians inspire me with their talent, not necessarily their style or content. Dave Chapelle inspires me with just how much comedy talent is in one person. Chris Rock’s work ethic is inspiring, Eddie Izzard’s free-form absurdity. So many comics inspire me in different ways.

What is the role of stand-up comedy?

Stand-up comedy has to make people laugh, it’s really that simple. Some jokes are benign and merely designed for a laugh; others seek to point out absurdities in norms that society chooses to overlook. But stand-up can take many forms and have many styles. The only constant is laughter.

What is the purpose of storytelling?

To carry stories from generation to generation. To travel with another person through time and space. To share a piece of your mind with others.

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Why government would fall short of cash if the fuel...

But restructuring the Road Accident Fund levy would reduce pressure on consumers

Gordhan’s Eskom ‘blame game’ underwhelms ANC leaders

Sources at a meeting of the national executive committee said a call was made to shift the power utility to Gwede Mantashe’s ministry of minerals and resources

Is your laptop tough enough for the pressures of the...

What is military-grade testing, and why should you opt for a device that’s been put to the test?

UK drivers in go-slow protest over surging fuel prices

Rail workers have already staged a series of stoppages to press for better pay as Britain's headline inflation reaches a 40-year high
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×