Why? Just be Xhosa

Nomahlubi Jordaan
SOUTH Africa‘s biggest vernacular stand-up comedy show, 99% Xhosa Comedy, is back in Nelson Mandela Bay this weekend – this time, with new faces and material.
Comedy lovers will on Saturday be treated to a hilarious one-night-only show, which starts at 8pm at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University‘s Second Avenue Campus auditorium.
The show, says executive producer Monwabisi Grootboom, has a vastly different and well-established line-up of comedians, including Port Elizabeth-born Ntosh Madlingozi (who will be MC), Ndumiso “The Rooster” Lindi, veteran and award-winning comic Mel Miller, Nik Rabinowitz and Siyabonga Radebe.
Miller, regarded as the father of stand-up comedy in this country, will take part for the first time. He received a lifetime achievement award at the recent Comics Choice Awards.
“The difference between this show and the previous ones is that we are bringing new faces, like Port Elizabeth- born Mbulelo ‘Manylaughs‘ Msongelwa, who will be an opening act.”
The show was also diversified, Grootboom said. “The 99% Xhosa Comedy Show was originally formed to provide a home and space for African comics of Xhosa descent. This was done to instil a sense of pride in Xhosa-speaking comics.”
It was designed to break the stereotype that stand-up comedy was only done in English, he said.
“We saw a challenge for many comics who were finding it difficult to express themselves in English. But we also noticed that the people who attend the shows come from the elite market, but are proud of being Xhosa.”
It had been decided to keep the brand, but diversify the line-up.
Having last been in Port Elizabeth in June last year, Grootboom said he was sure fans would attend the show in droves as they were hungry for comedy.
“In the past, we used to bring comedy shows every month, but we noticed a decline in attendance because people were getting tired of it. Now, since they have not laughed in a while, we are sure we will get a good response.”
Tickets are available at Computicket at R120. He urged fans to book in time to avoid long queues at the venue.
“At previous shows, we had to turn people away after the shows sold out through pre-bookings.
“We encourage people to buy tickets as early as possible to avoid such disappointments,” he said.
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