Based: United Kingdom
Many years ago, a young man from Gugulethu Township in Cape Town came to Johannesburg to pursue a seemingly impossible dream of becoming a professional comedian. 13 years later this young man is now an award winning comedian who has performed on stages all over the world, anchors his own groundbreaking satirical news show and is recognized as one of the most gifted comedians South Africa has ever seen.
“A group of young, black comics are breaking taboos, cracking controversial jokes & taking South Africa by storm. Loyiso Gola is one of them!’
Wall Street Journal
“There were times that I feared coughing out my lung, kidney or some other bodily part; I was laughing so much. Gola is uproariously funny!”
Mail & Guardian
“Loyiso Gola’s television show is going to save South Africa from itself.”
His high-energy, almost Def Jam-style stand-up tackles race and politics with a huge amount of charm.
Brilliant South African stand up, not one to be missed.
Evening Times, UK
Loyiso Gola started performing comedy at the tender age of 18 and has not looked back since. From very humble beginnings in one of South Africa’s biggest townships, his journey to comedy stardom has been an interesting one. Whilst still at school, he joined and started performing with the legendary Cape Comedy Collective – a collective that would produce some of the country’s most celebrated comedy talent – Riaad Moosa, Kagiso Lediga, Stuart Taylor and others.
However, it was when he moved to Joburg after leaving school that the comedy fraternity started waking up to his talent. He entered and won the Sprite Soul Comedy Jam. It was clear that Loyiso Gola had arrived. His rise in the local comedy ranks thereafter has been nothing short of meteoric.
Today he is without doubt one of the country’s most recognized and decorated comedians. His illustrious career boasts of performances at all the major comedy events on the local comedy calendar as well as performances in England, Scotland, Canada, US, Dubai, Nigeria, Mauritius, Swaziland and Botswana.
During this time he has performed alongside the best the country has to offer as well as shared the stage with some of the best comedians in the world, the likes of Russell Peters, Paul Rodriguez, Pablo Francisco, Mark Curry, Jim Jefferies, Brandon Burns, Jimmy Carr, Sugar Sammy, Charlie Pickering, Rhod Gilbert, Basketmouth and many others.
With his sharp wit, unmistakable charm and thought provoking comedy style, Loyiso Gola has been enthralling, mystifying and entertaining audiences for over a decade. In an intelligently frank but tasteful manner, he has made a living of telling it like it is – a modern day George Carlin with his outspokenness mixed with the street smart of a latter day Chris Rock and the attitude of a young defiant Richard Pryor. Never known as one to pull his punches – this comedy style has won him many admirers. He remains apolitical, unapologetic and socially aware with his commentary – making him one of South Africa’s most outspoken & important comedians in its young democracy.
His first one man show – Loyiso Gola for President – enjoyed groundbreaking success, rave reviews and enhanced his stature as one of the country’s best. It also earned him a coveted South African Comedy Award for the ‘Best Breakthrough Act’. An impressive list of one man shows were to follow after that; I’m Frank, Life & Times, Coming Home, Professional Black & his most recent Live At The Joburg Theatre. Hundreds of sold out houses, thousands of tour miles, growing legions of fans followed as Loyiso went on establishing himself as a true heavyweight comedian. Nominations for Comedian of the Year in shows like Stars of Mzansi Awards, Comics Choice Awards and YOU Magazine Awards were to soon follow from there.
During this colourful career there have been numerous highlights; touring the country with international superstar Russell Peters, hosting the country’s biggest music awards ceremony – the South African Music Awards, hosting his very own Comedy Central Special, performing at 2 of the most prestigious comedy festivals in the world – Just For Laughs in Montreal Canada & the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland amongst many other achievements.
Besides his many accolades & achievements on stage, he has several television and movie credits to his name including being on the cult comedy sketch series the Pure Monate Show, co-hosting a television show with comedy legend Pieter Dirk Uys as well as enjoying cameos on MTV Films’ Bunny Chow and Comedy Central Africa’s buddy cop movie Blitz Patrollie. His DVD credits include the best selling Just Because Comedy Festival 1, Just Because Comedy Festival 2, Outrageous and his own greatly received one man show DVD’s – Loyiso Gola for President and Life & Times.
However, in recent times it is with his television programme – Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola – South Africa’s only satirical news show that Loyiso has changed the local television as well as the socio-political landscape forever! In its forthright manner and cutting edge comedic outlook, it has made local audiences look at the news, politics and social dynamics in a way yet to be seen in this country. Most notably, it has contributed in making the youth of South Africa engage with politics in a way they haven’t done so since the fall of apartheid.
Similar to the Daily Show with Jon Stewart in the US, it is show that is commonly quoted in weekly tabloids, spoken about in political circles and mentioned in debates about the politics of one of Africa’s most celebrated democracies. Watched by over a million viewers every week and growing – the show is now in its eighth season and remains the only show of its kind on local television. With this show – Loyiso Gola has also become a household name in homes all over Africa and inadvertedly has become the poster boy for political satire on the continent.
One of the most daring comedy minds this country has ever seen with an incredibly impressive body of work built over the past decade – all achieved before his 30th birthday – not only makes Loyiso Gola one of the most treasured comedians around but also one of the most important ones. They say the best comedians in the world are the ones that hold up a mirror to society. If you want to see how we are looking as a country and as the world at large – keep your eye on one Loyiso Gola!