New life thread for Taka Tina
Stand-up comedy trending for Motherwell’s Twitter funnyman
Port Elizabeth’s “Wizard of Lies” has gone, almost overnight, from Twitter funnyman to stand-up comedian – and with that a career change may be on the cards.
The Motherwell comedian – who uses the moniker Taka Tina – became an overnight Twitter sensation when, over July and August 2018, he amassed 70,000 followers and won the funniest tweep award at the second annual Black Twitter Awards in November.
Fast-forward three months and Taka Tina now has 133,530 followers – and counting – while he rubs shoulders with the likes of South African comedian and radio presenter Skhumba Hlope.
Taka Tina, who refuses to give his real name as he is a “working family man”, said although it seemed like his popularity had come overnight, it actually took him eight years to get the hang of Twitter.
He said being on stage was an even greater challenge.
“I first joined Twitter in 2010 as ‘Akon’ because at school they used to say I look a lot like him, but, as you know, a lot of people join Twitter and disappear,” he explained.
Taka Tina said because he did not have a good understanding of Twitter, he posted his threads on Facebook until his followers told him someone on Twitter was stealing his comedy gold.
His outrageous tweets are about his supposed day-to-day encounters, accompanied by images, but have little or no bearing on the truth.
“I went back to Twitter in 2018 under the alias of Taka Tina and started posting my threads there.
“I’ve always been into comedy. I see a storyline behind everything – 90% of my stories are based on my daily encounters, but I never imagined that I would end up going into standup comedy,” Taka Tina said.
He said his first gig as a comedian was at an event at the Dockside International Night Lounge in Port Elizabeth.
“The downside about standup is that you’re expected to make people laugh within five minutes.
“I was very nervous and about 15 minutes into my slot, the batteries of my microphone died.”
He said he believed that was his ticket home.
“When they called me an hour after struggling to get batteries, I told them that I was already home,” Taka Tina said.
But we all know we need to take Taka Tina’s stories with a pinch of salt because there is a fine line between reality and some rather tall stories.
Taka Tina said he started doing shows in and around Motherwell before getting the honour of sharing the stage with Skhumba earlier in 2019.
“Now I can be on stage freely and I will use the Twitter platform to promote my shows.
“But I will also continue tweeting because there are people out there who love comedy, but can’t afford or have access to shows,” he said.
Taka Tina has also been announced as one of the guest celebrities for the Soweto Beer Buffet on March 30 at the Shap Stadium in Soweto.
He said the opportunity came after he met with Skhumba at an event in Motherwell.
“The organisers had Skumba as a surprise guest and at the time, we never really got to talk.
“We then communicated via Direct Messenger on Twitter and he said he had been following me and admired my art.
“We met in Johannesburg in late January, where we discussed doing various comedy tours and also being part of the Soweto Beer Buffet,” Taka Tina said.
He added he is nowworking on content for the Soweto Beer Buffet with Twitter in the background – for now.
“I want to focus on [my upcoming performance] and promote that. I have a lot of threads lined up for Twitter, but I will start posting them after the beer fest,” he said.
Talking about the new direction his life had taken, Taka Tina said he was still very much a family man and was juggling both his comedy life and his “prestigious” job.
“I recently posted Tina [his daughter] on my timeline. She will be turning 14 this month. I also posted Maka Tina [his girlfriend] so that followers can see that they are real.
“But I will continue to use this name because I want to separate my work from what I do after-hours,” Taka Tina said.
He added that he was currently in talks with a big local brand.
“There is a deal that I’m busy working on with one of the biggest brands in SA and if those negotiations go according to plan, I might have to focus on comedy as a full-time career,” he said.
After the beer festival, Taka Tina will be going on a comedy tour with South African musician, actor and presenter Bonginkosi Dlamini, popularly known as Zola, and comedian Liya Nqaba.
The tour will start in Swaziland.
Taka Tina said the first thread he would post after the Soweto Beer Buffet would be about how Rambo rescued him in Vietnam.