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5 minutes with comedian Sifiso Nene

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Sifiso Nene is set to join this year's acts at the annual Blacks Only comedy showcase which will take place in both Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Nene, who will be joined on stage by comedic giants such as Celeste Ntuli, David Kau and even Somizi has become a popular name in the South African comedy scene since winning the reality competition series So You Think You're Funny? ten years ago.

The talented comedian has also opened his very own comedy club, The Comedy Basement, which opened its doors July 25. As part of its features The Comedy Basement will offer sets done in all official languages.

Nene has also earned himself a number of acting roles including a small role on Moja Love's Judge Thenjiwe Khambule this year.

We caught up with the comedian to find out about his comedy club and who he feels would best portray him in movie version of his book, Our Father.

Blacks Only Comedy show is the biggest comedy show in the country. There hasn't been one that comes close to it. By virtue of that, it puts pressure on every comedian because the numbers are huge (compared to what we do at small venues).  So it's a great platform to give it your all. Shout out to David Kau for that.

If I wasn't doing comedy, I'd be dead. I'd be somewhere in some office or I'd be a taxi driver. I don't know. I think it's something that I love and I can't imagine myself doing anything else.

My greatest achievement so far is launching my first black-owned comedy venue in the country. That for me is like taking ownership of my art. There are many things where we all win awards but having my own venue, for me; it's everything...not that everything else was not important because it was all a build up to this.

What inspired me to open my own comedy club was that we haven't had such a platform for every South African language to have its own specific show on its specific day. I made an observation that if this could happen, people would support it. It allows everyone to listen to comedy in their own language. I believe that if any art form that is spoken is presented to you in your own language you will relate better.

If I could invite five people to dinner it would be Bab' Mshengu Shabalala, David Kau, Trevor Noah, John Kani and Black Coffee.

I wrote a book a few years ago and one of the plans was to convert it into a movie or a TV series. The person who could portray my character would be Mduduzi Mabaso who plays Suffocate on Rhythm City. When that guy acts you feel his emotion.

When I was in high school I was a very quiet person. Naturally I'm a quiet person but I'm not shy. I'm quiet. But I like to learn human behaviour; how they act, how they feel, how they solve problems. I'm more of a listener than a speaker.

I'm definitely going to New York, I want to go there and hustle. Trevor Noah made me feel that it's possible so one of my plans is to go there and hustle.

Blacks Only Joke Appropriation Without Compensation takes place this Saturday in Johannesburg at the TicketPro Dome, and in Cape Town on August 14 at The Cape Town ICC Auditorium.  Tickets are on sale now at Computicket 

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