“Laughter is an involuntary thing, so you’ll know if a joke is good or not” - Loyiso Madinga

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Loyiso Madinga
Loyiso Madinga

Why the title?

I had to have a title but I feel A Long Way From My Village spoke to the show, just the idea of where I was and where I come from, which is really a long way from home. I’ve always wanted to play in the world space. It was never just about SA. Yes, SA is important to me. But comedy, I’ve always viewed it as an international thing. It’s like any footballer that doesn’t just want to play for Chiefs, but dreams of going international.

So, how’d feel to become part of the Netflix special?

I have no idea how it came about. I just got an email, asking me to be a part of the special. My first initial thought was ‘nope’ and it’s because it’s for half an hour, and I’d done another set which was 10 minutes long, and you know, it’s gags, gags, gags and you’re out. But half an hour is a showcase of yourself. It’s you for half an hour. It’s a show, not just a set. But then I realised it’s a challenge, and if I pull it off, it’ll be amazing.

How’d you choose your partnerships?

You have to be about the thing. You must be about comedy, it mustn’t be just a channel looking to fill space or ride on your image or name. The people involved really care about the work and I loved filming with Netflix. They created something great from the set where we filmed. It didn’t feel like a set but a room at a comedy club.

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How do you know which jokes will work?

You must always work the stage because the audience is very honest with you. Laughter is an involuntary thing, so you’ll know if a joke is good or not. You’ll also feel it on stage that, ‘oh, okay, there’s no joke there’. There are moments when you’ve bombed. You can write jokes and you may only try out 10% and of that, you’ll only keep 1% that will work. So, by the time you see me on a show, it’s made up of that one percent. It’s hard work and it takes time to put together a show or a set.

If you weren’t doing comedy, what would you be doing?

Acting! That was my first love. I try to incorporate acting into my comedy. But comedy happened quicker and gave me opportunities like getting onto The Bantu Hour or LNN (with Loyiso Gola). I hope it opens more doors for me in the acting space.

 

Biggest accomplishment to date?

I think it’s constantly finding ways to grow. That’s very important for me. I’m far from being the comic I want to be but every time I do something, I feel great, because that means there’s space for me to grow still. I’ll be doing this ’till I’m old. I’ll never retire.

What’s your ‘Mama I made it’ moment?

I don’t even know if I want that… But if I could run a long show, or tour around the country, that would be an affirmation for me. I love doing this so much, and I want to tell the jokes to as many people possible.

The talented comedian’s comedy special, A Long Way From My Village, is now on Netflix.

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