Loyiso Gola on his Unlearning, Netflix’s first African stand up comedy

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In his Netflix comedy show, Unlearning, Loyiso Gola will explore his own experience of maturity and masculinity during apartheid in South Africa.
In his Netflix comedy show, Unlearning, Loyiso Gola will explore his own experience of maturity and masculinity during apartheid in South Africa.
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He is one of South Africa’s most loved and popular stand-up comedians.

Loyiso Gola (37) is a two-time Emmy nominated anchor for his satirical news television series, Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola. And that's just some of his accolades. 

His latest stand-up show, Unlearning is Netflix’s first African stand up comedy and the first African original one for 2021.

Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 204 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series.

Loyiso tells us about the show. 

“Unlearning explores all of the perceptions and behaviours we take on as children which inform our lives as adults,” Loyiso says.

“I use my own experiences of maturity and masculinity in apartheid South Africa to make people laugh about their realities.” 

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The special first made a debut at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017 and ran at the MICF, London's Soho Theatre, Grahamstown, and Soho Playhouse in New York.

“Every audience responds to comedy differently, but we all somehow know what is good or bad and we are capable of laughing at our flaws.”

Following the crazy year that was 2020, Loyiso brought the special to his hometown of Cape Town. 

This latest Netflix original was filmed in front of a live audience at the Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Zeits Mocca. 

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Born and raised in Gugulethu, Cape Town, Loyiso is also the African correspondent for Charlie Pickering’s The Weekly on ABC in Australia. Before being exposed to comedy Loyiso described himself as ‘reserved and shy.’ 

He made his first debut on television on the SABC 1 show, the Phat Joe Live talk show in 2002, and later joined the Pure Monate Show created by comedians David Kau and Kagiso Lediga in 2003.

Some of his significant performances include his show, Tall Tales which ran at the Soho Theatre in 2015, Dude, Where’s My Lion? which ran in Edinburgh, Loyiso Gola Live in New York which was his debut at the US stand-up special, recorded in Brooklyn in 2016, and the Netflix special, Comedians of the World which was released in 2019. 

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