South African comedian Loyiso Gola is probably best known to Australian audiences as the Africa correspondent on ABC TV’s The Weekly with Charlie Pickering, where his take on global political issues has proved to be not only funny, but also sharp and wisely observed.
Brought up in Cape Town, attending a school with a majority Muslim student body, before joining the Cape Comedy Collective and moving to Johannesburg where numerous television appearances culminated in the comedian getting his own late night news satire program. Now living in London, the 33 year-old has the life experience and prerogative to speak on subjects that most other comedians would give a wide berth. From the ‘n’ word, to Islamic beliefs, Gola strides in confidently but without aggression or the desire to bash his audience over the head with what they don’t know, despite the odd audience member feeling the need to defend sensibilities.
Gola’s style of comedy is freeform, more like a conversation with the crowd that could easily change each night than a highly structured routine – or is that just sleight of hand? Either way he’s a captivating character that knows how to entertain everyone in his audience, no matter their background. Full of funny observations on the black experience in both Melbourne and London, Gola’s take is equal parts compliment and insult, yet wrapped up in his warm nature one never feels offended. Many international comics take the opportunity to tell us their impressions of our town, so it’s fascinating to hear how different they are from one to the next.
It would be easy to assume that this show might be confrontational, but any such concerns are quickly shut down by Gola who ensures we get it early on – this is comedy, never let the truth get in the way of a good story.