Five minutes with rising star Okay Wasabi

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Entertainer Okay Wasabi is making strides in the industry
Entertainer Okay Wasabi is making strides in the industry

Whether it's through music, skits, or stand-up, comedian Okay Wasabi - real name George Mnguni - loves to make people laugh.

Throughout his career the Vosloorus born comedian has been inspired by where he comes from, "Voslo and its people", he tells Drum.

"Well, I just consider myself a comedian and use comedy to express and speak to audiences. I consider the different ways I release that comedy as sort of like languages. Some people digest my comedy better through skits, some prefer the music and some prefer me just speaking. So I make skits about situations I've gone through or made-up scenarios that just come to my head, I love music so I also try to still deliver comedy even when I dabble with music. So it's all about not limiting myself in the way I deliver the humour," he says.

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His introduction to the entertainment industry was through YouTube and his career has since skyrocketed.  Even though he says he is nowhere near where he wants to be, he has quite an impressive resume.

"There's been ups and downs. I am nowhere near where I want to be but I am also nowhere near tired, I know there's still a lot of work to do," Okay Wasabi says.

He has directed for MTV's You Got Got, got nominated for a Lourie award for one of his skits, and presented two reality shows Ng'khokhele and SUYS.

"Seeing the effect that the work I have put out has had on the various South Africans who call themselves fans of the work is one of my career highlights," he shares.

It was in primary school when he realised that he can make people laugh. "One day it just clicked that on command I could make someone laugh in most situations."

He is starting the year with a bang as one of the presenters of Castle Lite's new show - Switch Up Your Space.

“After the last two years of spending more time at home, Castle Lite recognises the growing role entertaining at home is playing in our consumer’s lives. Naturally we want to ensure that this time at home is super enjoyable, and for that you need a super space, brought to you by Castle Lite,” says Colleen Duvenage, Brand Director of Castle Lite. 

To be part of this show is an a testament that his hard work is paying off, Okay Wasabi believes.

"It's an awesome show where we upgrade people's entertainment areas in their homes because we believe the best new way to chill out is to chill in. I'm joined by the Switch Up Squad, Smash Afrika, and Ayesha Nobanda and we go around surprising people by transforming and turning their spaces into places they'd be proud to call their friends in and chill in with them so they can avoid any crowded areas, they can avoid entrance fees and traffic. They can bring the chillas right at home," he explains.

Reality shows have been on the rise but he says this one is one of Mzansi's first. 

"Switch Up Your Space relies heavily on the host personalities. How we gel, how we communicate, the chemistry between all 3 of us, and how we interact with the guests too. As much as there are amazing makeovers happening, you're going to stay for the personalities."

The show airs on eTV at 17:30 on Saturday. 

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