Local funny guy nominated for SATMA award

2010-09-13 00:00

THE Pietermaritzburg-born comedian, Justice Kubheka, has crept up on the comedy scene and is stealing the hearts of stand-up comedy fans all over the country.

His break as a comedian came around when he made it to the semi-finals of the SABC 1 So You Think You’re Funny? competition last year.

His success in stand-up comedy lies in the fact that he connects with and relates to his audience. And with Kubheka, what you see is what you get.

“I would like to evaluate the way people view black comedy. Some people put on a persona. It is vital to be yourself. The person you are on stage should be the same as the one off stage. I have seen this with great comedians like international acclaimed comic Chris Rock and others.

“The point is to not patronise the audience. There’s a thin line between entertaining and insulting,” Kubheka explains.

This comes from a person who had no idea what stand-up comedy was before a friend took him to a stand-up comedy show.

Talking about his time on stage, he said: “My very first set was at the Bat Centre in Durban harbour, for 99% Zulu Comedy Show. I had butterflies in my stomach with material I had written just a couple of days before the show.”

His material, which often question the status quo, are what people love about him.

“Material comes first to me. You’ve got to have good material. I hate talking from another person’s point of view.

“I like the idea that I’m talking to the audience and not at them. I don’t like it when people just clap; I want them to agree with me. And I put myself out there. My personality is out there for scrutiny.”

Hailing from Imbali Township, where comedy is slowly starting to take-off with the High School Comedy Show launched this year, Kubheka says: “Comedy is not as big in townships, but one has to become the change they want to see. So I always draw reference to how I grew up and the place I grew up in. I put Imbali first in my material. But we need more venues for stand-up comedy in Pietermaritzburg.”

Kubheka believes he still needs to hone his skill. “There’s a lot I still want to do and that includes restructuring my skill. I’m still learning.”

Aside from coming up with quirky titles and funny jokes, Kubheka rolled up his sleeves for local high schools during his fundraising campaign.

He collects donations and unused clothes for a local orphanage called Ubuntu Crisis Orphanage Home.

He is also currently nominated in the fifth South African Traditional Achievement Award (SATMA) in the Best Indigenous Comedian category, and is up against big names in the comedy industry.

The awards are scheduled for September 25 at the International Convention Centre (ICC) arena in Durban.

The public can vote for Kubheka by SMSing SATMA Awards/Justice Kubheka /Best Indigenous Comedian to 34066, at R2 per SMS vote.

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