Tue Sep 30 19:51:51 SAST 2014

Up close with Kagiso Lediga

Feb 5, 2012 | Somaya Stockenstroom |

COMEDIAN Kagiso Lediga pulls up his nose at "old school" timers who refuse to change nappies and expect their woman to do all the work.

 'Being a dad is serious buzziness' 

COMEDIAN Kagiso Lediga pulls up his nose at "old school" timers who refuse to change nappies and expect their woman to do all the work.

"Well, if you met my woman you'd see I don't have much of a choice," he jokes.

"Hey, that's a job on it's own. I bathed my boy, fed him, changed nappies...

"Men who don't do these things... I don't understand how they can live with themselves. It's called 'bonding'."

We meet the seasoned comedian at a trendy restaurant in Rosebank.

He is dressed down in casual pants and a T-shirt. I spot him from a distance, thanks to his crazy hairdo.

He's talkative, but not as animated as I expected. He orders an omelette with a ginger and carrot juice, as well as a cup of coffee - he ain't shy!

The 33-year-old dad beams with delight when he speaks of his four-year-old son Taoana (little Lion) and his partner Tamsin.

"We wanted to name him Lion but he might have become arrogant, so we decided Little Lion suited him better."

He says Taoana has been a big boy since birth.

"He's already being cornered to play rugby," Kagiso says laughing.

"My girl... she is crazy, but a lot saner than I am. We've been together for eight years. She'll sometimes ask when we're getting married and I'll be like 'but we are married!'

"I really don't see the big deal. When I figure out the traditions of marriage then... maybe I'll do it. But she means everything to me."

They both work on Late Night Newswith Loyisa Gola.

"So far we've been able to work harmoniously together. She's like the CEO of the programme, so she takes no crap - but neither do I when I'm working.

"I try not to run my material past her before a show 'cos I really don't want beef.

"I might write something about women and she might just turn around and say: 'So is that what you think of women?'"

He looks away with a smirk, trying to be serious.

He stops to greet someone he recognises. They exchange pleasantries, but it's evident they're trying to figure out who the other is. It's quite hilarious.

"Well, neh! that was awkward. I actually don't know that guy from a bar of soap. He must also be feeling like a fool."

He chuckles.

Kagiso knew since he was little that he wanted to make people laugh.

"I'd watch old movies with my dad - Woody Allen - and I was like 'I wanna be like this guy'. I'd also watch Bill Cosby stand-up and knew that was my calling."

Well, he's certainly lived up to his dreams.

He's had over 15 years in the industry, and from earning peanuts to producing hit films and making big bucks.

But he doesn't always tickle the funny bone.

"When we just started out we did a show for fishermen in Hout Bay.

"That's gotta be my worst experience... they didn't have a clue what I was talking about!

"And just last week I was traumatised in Rustenberg - I was tired and failed to make the audience laugh. They started talking during my set and some even booed.

"But the next night I killed it..."

Catch him at his one-man show IN A SUIT at the Lyric Theatre on the 24th & 25th of February 2012

THIS AND THAT:

  • Born in May 1978: "You know, there are lots of Tauri in the comedy circles," he says about his star sign.Grew up in Atteridgeville, Pretoria.
  • Started doing comedy while studying drama at UCT with David Kau. Together they started, produced and acted in the show Pure Monate that went on to win eight SA Film and Television awards.
  • Is forever grateful to the comedians who gave up their jobs to act in Pure Monate: "Do they realise we could have failed? Hahahahaha!"
  • Is known to be among the best comedians in the country, with an impressive body of work behind him, and is celebrated as one of South Africa's pioneering and most recognisable black comedians and filmmakers. His latest work Blitz Patrolie comes to our screens in July.
  • Starred in several ads that got the country talking - Nando's, where he dissed fellow comedian Trevor Noah's Cell C CEO ad and the Savannah ad. "I did one Savannah ad - I'm not that other guy who does all the ads."
  • Never visits people at their homes: "I think my resolution this year should be to visit more. When they invite me I should stop asking them to come to me all the time - like 'why your house, what's wrong with my house?'"

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