‘Professional black’ unveiled

Lynne Gadd–Claxton

SATIRICAL comedian Loyiso Gola is kicking off the nationwide tour of his one-man show Professional Black at the Port Elizabeth Opera House tonight.

The Xhosa-speaking comedian – who will be performing solo in the city for the first time – has received international acclaim at the Montreal and Edinburgh Comedy Festivals, regarded as the world’s biggest of their kind.

Last year, his show Life & Times saw him celebrating 10 years of performing comedy to sold-out shows around the country.

Gola says his one-man show should “provoke debate”, with his personal take on what it means to be a professional black in South Africa in the year 2012.

“Given the air time that the words ‘professional black’ have received in the South African media in recent times people will have their preconceived notions and assumptions about what this title means,” he said.

“This show will highlight these and many other stereotypes that we have in our country today, many of them nonsensical and absurd. In my own comedic way, I’ll not only debunk them but illuminate how ridiculous they are.

“I’ll start with what makes you black, what makes you professional, what makes you ‘professional black’.”

Gola said the show was more personal and about life as he experienced it as the stereotyped “professional black”.

“I talk about myself and growing up. It is more personal. I will give people the opportunity to get to know me.”

Gola has had roles on television comedy talk shows Phat Joe Live, Pure Monate Show and Dinner with the President. He has also had cameo roles in the recently released film Copposites and Bunny Chow but is best known for his Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola (LNN), broadcast on e.tv.

Realising in matric that stand-up comedy was where he wanted to be, he has since gathered his fair share of criticism for his apolitical, unapologetic and hard-core social commentary in the satirical news programme.

LNN, now in its fifth season, is watched by more than a million viewers a week, probably a few politicians too, says Gola.

“Politicians don’t really care what I do on the show, they are too busy running the country.”

Professional Black will be at the Port Elizabeth Opera House tonight at 8pm. Tickets are R100 at Computicket.

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