Eastern Cape comedian makes debut with Noah

Loyiso Madinga
Picture: Supplied

Talent and good timing gave Madinga edge over competition

It is not often a youngster from a small Eastern Cape town makes it in Hollywood, but that is just what Loyiso Madinga did when he appeared as an African correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

Growing up in the rural village of Mount Fletcher and attending St Patrick’s High School, Madinga, 30, attributes his success to the work ethic and values his father instilled in him.

“He planted into our heads that whatever you do in life, you should be the best version of it,” he said.

“So when I started comedy I wanted to work hard at being a top-level comic.”

The former advertising executive turned professional comedian made his comedic debut in 2012 at Montecasino Teatro, where he shared the stage with international acts such as American stand-up comedian Tom Segura.

“I was in advertising for [several] years, then I made the jump,” Madinga said.

Of his career change, Madinga said he had always wanted to find a career he could pursue passionately for a long time, and that when he found comedy it just made sense.

As The Daily Show’s first international correspondent Madinga had to endure an intense and nerve-wracking audition process.

“I’ve met many great comics from [the continent], they could have chosen [comics] from anywhere and they would have been world class,” he said.

Vice-president for Comedy Central Africa Dillon Khan said it was Madinga’s comedic timing and fast humour that made him the ideal choice as a Daily Show correspondent.

“He is indicative of the diverse and deep pool of talent that shines on our continent and beyond its shores.”

The locally produced Africa segment was directed by comedian Kagiso Lediga and produced by Tamsin Andersson.

Madinga wants his new segment to change the world’s perception of Africa. He believes it will achieve this through providing high-quality content that will contradict what people may expect to see from a TV segment produced by Africans.

The show made its debut on African screens last night on Comedy Central and will air periodically in 10 countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Singapore.

“We were very cognisant of the fact that it should be understood by people from around the world,” Madinga said.

When asked about his conversations with The Daily Show host Noah, Madinga replied: “I happened to be in New York and got some time to talk to Trevor.

“He was excited about doing [the segment], he just wanted to get it done. It’s probably something that’s been a long time coming for him.”

Noah said: “As wild as Donald Trump is for America‚ many countries around the world have Trumps of their own and since The Daily Show is in many countries‚ we thought ‘why not give each country a chance to show off their stable geniuses?’ ”

To South African comedians who have aspirations of being the next Noah, Madinga said: “Just get into it. Once you’re into it, work your a** off! Hard work pays off in comedy.”

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