Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

​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.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

DA’s egregious sexual harassment case finally begins

The party is accused of protecting a councillor, who’s also implicated in R1.2m graft

The ANC, DA and EFF ‘oblivious’ to climate crisis —...

The Climate Justice Charter Movement has critiqued the manifestos of the main parties contesting the local government elections and found them ‘shallow’

More top stories

Former spy boss Fraser objects to Zondo’s nomination as chief...

The former director general of intelligence’s character assassination of the deputy chief justice is straight out of the Zuma playbook

Special Investigating Unit to oppose efforts to reject Mkhize report

Former health minister Zweli Mkhize seeks relief to declare the SIU’s conduct against him ‘unlawful and unconstitutional

Bird flu outbreak on Dyer Island causing mass deaths

The island hosts the vulnerable African penguins, endangered bank cormorant and roseate tern

Countries bear cross-border responsibility for harmful effects of climate change,...

The UN committee has been accused of ‘turning its back’ on the children who filed a groundbreaking legal complaint with it against five countries
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×