Epic Journey

Meet Loyiso Gola!

Loyiso Gola is a big dude in South Africa. Literally, a big guy. He’s 6 foot 5, with a deep voice that is slow to warm when you wake him with late night international calls as I’m guilty of doing more than once. That voice is also musical, thoughtful and carries the confidence of someone who knows that what he says counts.

Loyiso is the face of the popular weekly satirical show ‘Late Night News with Loyiso Gola’, a show he created along with long time collaborators Kagiso Lediga and Tamsin Andersson. Loyiso is South Africa’s Jon Stewart, and this country is giving him plenty of material to satirize lately.

See Loyiso in LNN here:

In our first conversation Loyiso, who is Xhosa and was raised in a Capetown township, said the thing about living in South Africa as a comic is that “Everything is political. You can tell a story about high school, everybody has similar experiences about high school, but I went to high school under Bantu Education (the Apartheid law that required all South Africans to learn the Afrikaans language). It’s just how it is here.”

See his bit about going on nap strike in preschool during Apartheid:

We’re very lucky to have Loyiso and his pal Kagiso, veterans of the comedy scene, as two of our featured comics in South Africa. (For a black South African comic being a veteran means doing stand up for 15 years, in the very early days of comedy post-apartheid.) The level of talent in the comedy scene in South Africa is incredibly high and beautifully diverse. American stand up comics like our host Hasan Minhaj have been hearing about or even touring South Africa for a while and talking amongst themselves about this amazing world of comedy at the bottom of the continent. Now with the help of our three South African comics we’re going to let the secret out.

Follow Loyiso on twitter.

Catch Loyiso perform his comedy live in JoBurg on April 28 at The Box and May 2 at Parker’s Comedy. 

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