Q&A: Loyiso Gola

By Drum Digital
26 December 2014

Stand-up comedian Loyiso Gola loves his job. He tells DRUM being funny comes naturally to him.

Pictures: Rowyn Lombard

COMEDIAN Loyiso Gola has been at it for almost a decade and recently walked away with the Comic’s Choice Comic of the Year Award at the 4th Annual South African Savanna Comic’s Choice Awards.

His show, Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola, has been one of eNCA’s most successful shows.

Before embarking on his one-man show, State of the Nation Address, he spoke to DRUM about his amazing success, the comedian he admires and more.

Why comedy?

Because I’m good at it and being funny comes naturally to me.

 If it comes naturally to you, why are you seen as arrogant in the media?

Arrogant? Me? Not at all.  I speak my mind. That makes some people uncomfortable. I guess that’s where that comes from. I’m a reserved guy. That can also be seen as arrogant, I suppose.

 Your TV show keeps you busy, but are you a talk show host or comedian

I’m a stand-up comedian. That’s why no matter how busy my life can get, I always do stand-up comedy.

I am who I am because of it. I will never turn my back on it and neither will I be too famous for it. I’ll even do a show if the venue is not full. I do it because I love it.

 What’s your secret to staying relevant?

I’ve always kept working, writing new stuff and performing. Over time you can’t bank on just the same old jokes to keep you going. I also try not to dabble too much in unrelated areas. It can kill your original passion and what you’re actually good at. I’ve been known to refuse other bookings, no matter how big, if I have a comedy gig  – for me that comes first.

 Do you think you’re funny?

I’m hilarious. When I started getting people to laugh when I got on stage that was quite affirming. Now I know Loyiso Gola’s funny.

Who are your comedy role models?

I don’t watch a lot of stand-up comedy now, but growing up I used to watch a lot of ?Bill Cosby and Eddie Murphy. At the moment I like Skhumba Hlophe – he’s ?very funny. He’s my favourite comedian ?in South Africa right now.

What do you do when you’re not on stage?

Watch soccer. I can spend the whole weekend watching and playing it. I’m not much of an outdoors person unless I’m with my friends.

The biggest misconception about you?

That I like politics. I don’t. I try to understand politics from a layman’s perspective. For the record, I don’t have an uncle in politics.

 Is it true that you’re dating Pearl Thusi?

No. I’m actually single. Pearl and I are managed by the same company. We’re friends and I wouldn’t date her. She’s way out of my league.

 Is comedy profitable?

The people who survive the longest are people who perfect the one main thing in their lives. ¦


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