Accountant turns disability blow into new comedy career
A former Eastern Cape accountant who was hit with glaucoma at the peak of his career, decided to turn his disability into an ability and use a different career path to uplift young people through economic emancipation and comedy.
Xolisa Nkatazo, who lost his sight in his right eye and is 75% blind in his left eye due to glaucoma, which damages the eye’s optic nerve, was forced to leave the accounting profession.
It was after he volunteered at community radio station, Izwi Lethemba, and when he was called regularly by his church leadership to “make the congregation laugh”, that Nkatazo realised he had a gift for comedy.
He went on to perform on local stages in the province, including East London’s Wise Guys Pub & Grill comedy nights, where he shared the stage with the likes of Trevor Gumbie, Kagiso Lediga, Joe Rasdien and Siya Seya, among others.
Since then, Nkatazo has created the XSir Movement, an initiative that upskills budding comedians, graphic designers and marketing enthusiasts.
This movement will be hosting tours around the province, starting off in Stutterheim and King William’s Town on February 14.
“The aim of the tour is to promote economic participation through comedy.
“Every city we travel to, we will find graphic designers and marketing people within that city to help us promote the event.
“They are remunerated for their services. If that city has up-and-coming comedians then it is a bonus as we include them in the line-up,” said Nkatazo.
He said the movement would specifically target unemployed graduates who had the skills but not the job opportunities.
Nkatazo said the comedy shows would tackle various social issues faced by communities, including gender-based violence.
“We want to promote laughter and happiness among people who are in relationships.
“Men don’t have to resort to violence to express themselves or to get their point across. Laughter is truly the best medicine.
“The first two shows in Stutterheim and King William’s Town will engage with the audience to share what positives people can bring out of their relationships,” he said.
Nkatazo said the shows would promote community engagement through the unpacking of social issues.
He said his team would be making appearances in the cities before event day to push ticket sales.
“Communication through comedy is a helpful remedy for the challenges facing our society.
“We will specifically be targeting small towns to render performances, and we would like as many people as possible to participate in this movement,” he said.
The XSir Movement will kick-start at Baron’s Pub and Grill in Stutterheim on February 14, and then at King Club in King William’s Town on the same day.
The entry fee for couples is R150, while a single ticket costs R100, at both venues.
Tickets can be purchased from Nkatazo on 062-401-3966.