POPULAR South African performer Nik Rabinowitz, known as the “world’s leading Xhosa-speaking Jewish comedian”, is heading for Port Elizabeth. He will perform his new show, Stand and Deliver, at the Opera House tomorrow.
Rabinowitz promises to not only keep the audience in stitches, but also to raise some eyebrows when he shares his own state of the nation address – a satirical take on South African politics.
“People have not been able to concentrate on the state of the nation delivered on February 14 because of all the attention Oscar Pistorius is getting,” Rabinowitz, who learnt to speak Xhosa while growing up on a farm in the “Plumstead West” area, said yesterday in a telephone interview from his Cape Town home.
“I used to spend most of my time with the black families on the farm. You can actually say I was the white sheep of those families.
“My Xhosa friends and I used to climb trees. I would pretend to be a commentator in my own rugby games, speaking Xhosa, English and Afrikaans – and families on the farm would listen,” he said.
Rabinowitz is no stranger to the Friendly City.
“It’s a lovely city. I am looking forward to coming back,” he said.
Talking about the show, he said it would explore the reason why “coloured people are MacGyvering” – referring to the old TV drama series, MacGyver, the US secret agent who was able to fix everything with the flick of his Swiss Army knife.
“Coloured people are busy people and able to do anything”, he joked.
“In Stand and Deliver the audience will also get to know what life would be like under Chinese rule … here’s another thought for the show: how come Indians don’t play rugby?” he said.
Rabinowitz has notched up quite a few successes during his 11 years on stage. The talented Cape Town-born artist has been interviewed on CNN’s African Voice and in South Africa’s Leadership magazine.
He has produced two DVDs – Stand and Deliver and You Can’t be Serious, and published a series in a book, The Youngsters.
Rabinowitz was also part of a South African team that performed Bafunny Bafunny at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 2010.
His passion for performance started in 2001, when he joined the Cape Comedy Collective. He traded this for a profession in the conventional business world.
But the University of Cape Town Business Science graduate said he put his dreams of accountancy aside later to pursue a life on stage.
Working on new material is always at the back of his mind. Rabinowitz has started preparing for a show the he hopes to perform at the Grahamstown Festival this year.
Rabinowitz is a family man and married to a medical doctor, whose sense of humour he thoroughly enjoys. They have two sons, Ben, 3, and Adam, 1.