Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Top SA comedian returns to Zimbabwe

By Vasco Chaya

HARARE – Award-wining South African comedian and actor Riaad Moosa, 38, who acted as Ahmed Kathrada in the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, will return to Harare on December 19 for a one-off comedy show at Harry Margolis Hall.

Award-wining South African comedian and actor Riaad Moosa
Award-wining South African comedian and actor Riaad Moosa

Moosa, a qualified medical doctor, will share the stage with Yaaseen Barnes, the winner of the Newcomer gong at South Africa Comics Choice Awards in an event being promoted by Clint Robinson’s C and A Entertainment.

Robinson, who has promoted gigs by Jamaican dancehall and reggae singers, told the Daily News that he was bringing back Moosa to Zimbabwe due to popular demand.

‘‘His last show was sold out with 1 001 people in attendance and this coming show is already picking up in terms of ticket sales,” said Robinson.

The arts promoter added that the forthcoming show has been motivated by his decision to concentrate on boosting comedy in the country.

“I have shifted my focus mainly from promoting music to comedy because it is my wish to see the local comedy industry flourishing.

“Recently, we hosted Anne Kansiime at Sopranos and I was overwhelmed when all her two shows at 7 Arts Theatre sold out. That was a positive step to us as an industry, we are almost there.

“Tickets for the show are being sold at Sopranos, standard ticket is going for $20 while it costs $30 for the VIP section,” he said.

Though local comedians are still to confirm their participation in the December 19 event, there is a likelihood that Simba the Comic King, Doc Vikela and Farhan Esat, who is currently performing in South Africa, will be part of the bill.

Like Zimbabwe’s award-winning stand-up comedian Edgar Langeveldt who quit his law studies for the stage, Moosa abandoned the medical profession to pursue comedy.

“What I wanted to do was comedy and I found that. I found my bliss, I think,” he told the Guardian newspaper.

As Indian and a Muslim, it is not surprising that Moosa’s humour revolves around politics of identity.

“Racial humour is very predominant in South African stand-up, but I think that’s as a result of our history and us coming to terms with what we’ve been through.

“Remember, we really grew up separately; our life experience was very different because of segregation. So comedy is a good space to work those things out and educate everyone about the different experiences and different race groups in South Africa.

“I use myself as a template for my comedy. So first my background as a Muslim man, my being a doctor, I talk about my family quite a lot, my children.
Anything that resonates with me I talk about. The important thing is it should be able to work in a family setting,” he said.

He has performed to sell-out audiences with shows such as Strictly Halaal and has tackled thorny subjects such as Islamophobia after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Daily News