By Jonathan Mbiriyamveka
HARARE – One of South Africa’s sought-after stand-up comedians Loyiso Gola has urged aspiring comedians to be true to who they are and believe in themselves.
Loyiso who anchors the hugely popular television comedy show Late Night News was speaking on CNN’s magazine programme African Voices aired at the weekend.
“Aspiring comedians need to find themselves and be true to that,” he said.
Tracing back to his formative years, Loyiso said he grew up in Cape Town in an era where violence was the order of the day.
“It was in the early 1990s at the end of apartheid, there was violence and teargas,” he said.
But he never imagined he would be one of the popular stand-up comedians.
“It all started when I was in high school. I wasn’t the popular kid in school, I used to get teased but when I got up on stage it was extremely empowering moment for me.
“The enticing thing about stand-up comedy was the idea that people would listen to what I had to say.
“I told myself I wanted to make this comedy thing a career,” he said.
After finishing his high school he then decided to move to Johannesburg which was the epicenter of the country’s arts scene at the time.
However, stand-up comedy then was still in its infancy but today the industry is thriving.
Loyiso is gracing some of the world’s big stages from Edinburgh to New York.
He has shared the stage with southern Africa’s best including stand-up comedians from Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.