Mthatha comedy show aims to galvanise residents

SABC newsman Athule Joka will bring his State of the Province comedy show to the Savoy Hotel in Mthatha on Saturday.Also billed to perform will be upcoming stand up comic Sihle Ngcele,25(left).
SABC newsman Athule Joka will bring his State of the Province comedy show to the Savoy Hotel in Mthatha on Saturday.Also billed to perform will be upcoming stand up comic Sihle Ngcele,25(left).
Image: SUPPLIED

The year brought a lot pain and gloom to the lives of South Africans but Eastern Cape-based SABC newsman Athule Joka is hoping to lift the spirits with his own comedy special.

The 33-year-old journalist will host his State of the Province comedy show at the Savoy Hotel in Mthatha on Saturday.

He will be joined by up-and-coming Eastern Cape comedians Tumello Trom, who gained fame through his hilarious videos on social media, Willy Ludwe Obia, from King William’s Town, and Zimvo Mpahleni and Sihle Ngcele, from Mthatha.

The Cradock-born Joka, who started dabbling in stand-up comedy eight years ago, told the Dispatch this week that even though this year had been one of the hardest in history, he felt that his show could help galvanise people going into 2021.

This year has made us all sad and when you read things in the media, things look really bad. We hope to put the spotlight on this year, but with a twist of comical relief

“It’s been tough and difficult. People have lost their livelihoods while others have lost their loved ones,” he said.

“This year has made us all sad and when you read things in the media, things look really bad. We hope to put the spotlight on this year, but with a twist of comical relief.”

While few would dare to share jokes about Covid-19 pandemic, Joka is prepared to push the envelope.

“Comedy shows you another angle. I know the issue of the pandemic is a very touchy subject but I believe that context is everything,” he said.

Other big issues of 2020 will also come in for attention, including controversial pastor Shepherd Bushiri.

Saturday’s show follows his successful State of the City comedy show, which he hosted in Mthatha in 2019.

A year earlier he starred in his first show, State of the Ward.

He said he had started the annual comedy show to provide a platform for young comics while also creating his own legacy in the industry.

Ngcele, 25, an internal auditing graduate at Walter Sisulu University who is now working as an intern in Nyandeni municipality’s finance department, previously performed at the annual OR Tambo Cultural Festival.

He said he was inspired to take up stand-up comedy by the legendary David Kau.

“I also saw a lot of young guys in our own province doing it and I said, ‘Why not me?’”

Ngcele said Mthatha’s  comedy scene had grown in leaps and bounds in the last few years.

Previously the town was known for  music shows and festivals, but people were hungry for something else, he said.

The show is scheduled to start at 7pm. Tickets are being sold at Beaver Canoe clothing shop in BT Ngebs Mall at R130 each. Those who buy them at the door will pay R150.

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