Ex-teacher keeps them in stitches

Bunu nominated for prestigious national comedy award

WHEN school teacher Khanyisa Bunu quit her job five years ago to pursue a career in comedy, she did not know she could one day be up for a prestigious national award.

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Whittlesea-born Bunu has been nominated in the Savanna Audience Choice category at this year’s Comic Choice Awards (CCA). She is nominated alongside 2008 So You Think You’re Funny winner Sifiso Nene.

The awards are in its third year and have seen the likes of Trevor Noah, Loyiso Gola, Chester Missing, Tumi Morake and Deep Fried Man being nominated in various categories. Bunu is the only Eastern Cape comedian to be nominated at this year’s awards.

“I am over the moon about the nomination. I’m thankful to God for granting me this opportunity,” she said.

Bunu left her hometown in Whittlesea after quitting her teaching job in 2008 and headed to the City of Gold.

“I always knew there was a lot I wanted to do but could not exercise some of the things while I was still at home.

“Moving gave me a chance to pursue comedy,” said Bunu.

That same year she moved, the country had its own So You Think You’re Funny talent search, which Bunu entered.

“I was always that girl who made people laugh in my family and my cousins encouraged me to enter the competition.

“At first I thought I would try make people laugh and go back home, but appearing on the show opened doors for me,” said Bunu.

Although she did not win the competition, Bunu made it to the top six.

“The competition was enough for me to get out there. People already knew me, which made things easy for me,” she said.

A year later, when the 99% Xhosa Comedy show came to East London for the first time, Bunu was among the comedians who entertained comedy lovers.

“I was excited to be part of the show and people who saw me on TV came out to support me,” she said.

However, the 34year-old has not completely let go of teaching and does much of her comedy on the side.

By day, Bunu mentors teachers at under-performing schools in Pretoria and in the evenings the funny girl comes out.

“When I tell the teachers I mentor that I am a comedian, they do not believe me. But at my old school they would say that I didn’t belong in a classroom.”

Bunu was a geography and English teacher at Zolani Junior Secondary School in Whittlesea before moving to the big city.

She said if it was not for the support from her family and supporters, she would not be where she is now.

The Comic Choice Awards are scheduled to take place at Montecasino next month. To vote for Bunu SMS “1209” to 38374.

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