99% Zulu Comedy is 100% full of laughs

THE 99% Zulu Comedy is 100% funny, whether it is in Durban or Johannesburg.

Stand-up comedians dished out laughter on steroids at the first 99% Zulu Comedy show that hit Johannesburg at the Lyric Theatre on Saturday night.

People were left in stitches with some almost falling off their seats and others wiping tears away.

Some audience members had to stand on the sidelines at the sold-out show, which actor and comedian Siyabonga Radebe summed up by saying: "That show went beautifully!"

Radebe, who was also hosting the event, said the Johannesburg crowd was as receptive as the Durban audiences.

Actor and comedian Kenneth Nkosi, who made a surprise appearance, said Monwabisi Grootboom approached him eight years ago with the idea to start a strictly 100% Zulu comedy show. When they decided to bring the show to Johannesburg, it was turned into 99% Zulu to accommodate otherlanguages.

Nkosi said it was high time people enjoyed comedy in their own languages.

"The success of this show came from the support of the people more than anything," said Isaac Gampu, who was one of the comedians on stage.

He added that the growth of vernacular comedy was proof that indigenous languages had a fighting chance at survival. "One day our own kids will find vernacular comedy a cool thing to do," said Gampu.

The line-up also included Simphiwe Shembe, Skhumba Hlophe, Celeste Ntuli, Felix Hlophe and Tol A$$ Mo. The jokes revolved around TV shows people watch, racial matters, politicians and relationships.

When asked where she got the guts to spew controversial jokes, Ntuli, the only female comic in the line-up, said her comedy was part of what people do in everyday life. While Ntuli's set was mostly about relationships, she said her flowing black dress was a symbol of support for the campaign against the abuse of women.