One-on-one with Khanyisa Unfiltered

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Khanyisa Madubula.
Khanyisa Madubula.
Supplied to TRUELOVE

While most of us have laughed out loud at her hilariously relatable videos that poke fun at societal issues and current affairs, content creator Khanyisa Madabula, popularly known as Khanyisa Unfiltered, says that she started making the videos when she was going through a rough time.

The Cape Town born social media and community media manager had been battling with depression because of unemployed during the lockdown when she decided to record short skits – not knowing that she would become a viral sensation.

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Her Eskom video, which gained a lot of traction during the load shedding stages, gained over 88 thousand views on Twitter and since then, she has become a household name on the social media streets.

TRUELOVE caught up with her to find out about her journey.

When did you start making funny videos?

I’ve always made videos, even before the lockdown, but they didn’t really gain much traction because most people weren’t always on their phones like they were during the lockdown. At the time, I also hadn’t developed characters for my videos the way I have now.

Because of the depression that came with unemployment during lockdown, I decided to make something out of that - not only because of boredom, but because I needed a way to relieve my stress and my videos became an outlet for that.

The response from people made me realise that I wasn’t the only one who was going through a tough time and that’s what made my videos relatable.

How do you come up with the content for your skits?

I actually don’t have a method when it comes to making the videos. I literally just wake up, have coffee, then sit down and as soon as I've thought of an idea or topic, I start recording. Most of my videos are natural and I’ll only do one take of the video. They are never scripted; it’s always a thought and I wing it until I get the final product.

Do you consider yourself a comedian?

I really didn’t before. Growing up, my friends would tell me that I’m funny but I didn’t see it. Everyone else around me saw the comedian in me before I did. With the response I’m getting from people, it's only now that I’m starting to realise that maybe there is something there. But I’ve never seen myself as a comedian until recently.

When did you realise that you’re actually funny?

Most people find the Eskom video funny and know it but before that, I had made a video just before the alcohol ban was lifted and I found that video very funny. That’s when I realised that I actually can be funny. Now, I always kill myself with my videos even before sharing them on social media.

How did you feel when your Eskom video went viral?

I won’t even lie, it’s such a good feeling. Besides the video going viral, what I enjoyed the most were the messages that I got from people about how my videos made their day. I never knew that someone could feel better just from watching my content. That’s really what gives me a good feeling.

Has this changed your life in any way?

I wouldn’t say that my life has changed much because with how South Africa is, most brands look at 24-hour bubblegum content and not the creator themselves. I do get work but not as much as someone would expect me to. For now, I’d say the biggest change is that people can recognise me in the streets. I went from being an ordinary person to being visible when I’m out. The transition is definitely weird but is amazing at the same time.

What future do you see for yourself in the digital space?

Definitely Netflix. Someone made me realise how much acting I actually do in my skits and now that’s a thought that is haunting me as to what I need to do going forward with my career. I see myself doing something on Netflix and that’s the future that I want for myself in this digital space.


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