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Laugh doctor Kau heals Soweto Theatre audience


They say laughter is the best medicine and hundreds of Johannesburg fun-seekers got doses of that in abundance when laugh doctor David Kau and eight of his funny friends celebrated his 37th birthday by taking the mickey out of everyone at the Soweto Theatre at the weekend.

With an exciting lineup including David Goliath, Sifiso Nene, Isaac Gampu, Ndumiso Lindi, Mashabela Galane, Mdu Ntuli and “Skhumba” Hlophe – who acted as master of ceremonies – it came as no surprise when the “sold-out” sign went up long before Friday, the opening night of the exhilarating two-day MoJokes Made in Africalive show.

Due to unprecedented public demand, a third show was added on Saturday at 5pm. No holy cows were spared. Everyone – from President Jacob Zuma to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela – became the butt of jokes during the two-hour show. The laugh doctor and his ensemble had the patients in stitches as they dispensed more healing. It was Kau’s first gig at the iconic venue and, true to form, he did not disappoint.

Hlope, forever the crowd pleaser, had the audience rolling in laughter from the moment he grabbed the mike to the time the show ended, making fun of the audience, with most of those in the front row bearing the biggest brunt. First on was Somizi Mhlongo. A bit of twerking here, a few jokes there, he had everyone giggling as he related the joy of being “a gay guy in a free South Africa”.

Explaining why he had stopped going to church, he said he did not want to be tempted by “all those hot guys in the congregation”.

The ladies were serenaded by Donald in a three-song performance that had them in a frenzy, and the fellas sang along.  When the man of the hour stepped up, he was met with a frenzied applause. Looking suave in a slim-fit suit and a trademark spotty, Kau had the crowd hinged on his every word and eating out of the palm of his hand. Most of the jokes were centred on everyday life in South Africa – from professional-mourner uncles to stoeps, drum majorettes and everything in between.

When the master surgeon was done, Nene, Gampu, Lindi, Galane, Ntuli and others took turns to work the crowd further. It was timely comic relief, considering the xenophobic violence that has ravaged the country over the past two weeks. Amid the jokes and laughter, there were serious moments when Kau and his friends stopped to condemn the xenophobic acts.

Kau said as a well-travelled comedian, he had been well-received in Nigeria and other countries. He said his friends on the continent and elsewhere were disturbed by attacks on foreigners. He appealed for more tolerance.