Nene ready to crack you up

Just a week after opening his comedy venue in Johannesburg, Sifiso Nene will be bringing his comedy combo show to East London this Saturday.
Just a week after opening his comedy venue in Johannesburg, Sifiso Nene will be bringing his comedy combo show to East London this Saturday.
Image: Supplied

Just a week after opening his comedy venue in Johannesburg, Sifiso Nene will be bringing his comedy combo show to East London this Saturday.

Nene will be the host of the show taking place at The Venue@Hemingways, alongside comedians Siya Seya, Mpho Popps and Stopnonsons.

Nene said his latest comedy venture was about creating platforms for all comedians in the country.

“The concept behind the Comedy Basement is about hosting 11 shows in all 11 official languages. Already a total of 48 comedians are a part of this,” he said.

He said every month he would host 11 shows for different language speakers.

“All these languages are spoken in Johannesburg and I thought why not have specific comedy night for each tribe,” he said.

His East London show this week came from the Comedy Basement concept.

“Unfortunately I cannot have 11 shows in East London for all the languages but I can have one that is a combo. I will be bringing the headlining acts from the other shows we’ve done in Johannesburg,” he said.

Nene believes that artists need to get to a point where they turn their art into a business to sustain themselves.

“We need to grow as artists. I don’t believe that I need to be on stage all the time in order to make money.

“The Comedy Basement and multicultural comedy combo concepts are examples of ways that I can still use my art without being on stage.

“I don’t need to be featured in these shows but I am the guy driving the ship,” he said.

Having won the first season of So You Think You’re Funny in 2009, Nene has kept his winning streak alive, scooping up an award at the South African Traditional Music Achievement Awards (Satmas) for best indigenous comedian and taking home the Comics Choice Award two years in a row.

He has also starred in the hilarious show Taxi Ride, which aired on Mzansi Magic, and in some commercials for Standard Bank.

Since Nene started the Comedy Basement the response from the public has been amazing, he said.

“There is a market for this but no one has tapped into it before. Every language is represented and people enjoy comedy in their mother tongue,” he said, adding that there might be a few things he may need to fix.

“It’s our first attempt and it’s only natural that we get some things wrong but we can only learn and grow from the mistakes,” he said.

Tickets for Saturday’s show cost R150 and are available at Computicket.

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