Blacks Only comedy show lands in Cape Town
Written by Yazeed Kamaldien
Cape Town needs to “be ready for black people to invade their spaces” said Johannesburg-based comedian David Kau ahead of his show in the city tonight (OCTOBER 4, 2013).
Kau will start his three-city Blacks Only Comedy Show series in the city, ahead of stops in Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg. The series runs annually in different cities and this year it is billed as The Bling-Bling Tour.
Kau said the last time he performed the Blacks Only show in Cape Town was 2009.
“We performed at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and were asked if we had extra security for the show. They thought there would be too many blacks showing up,” said Kau.
“There are black associations for accountants and soccer players. When you come with a black comedy show then people freak out… People say I’m racist (to do this). But it’s fun at the same time.
“Some guys ask if they can bring their white girlfriends. One guy said that now he won’t have to buy two tickets because his girlfriend is white as this show is for blacks only.”
On a more serious note, Kau said he started the Blacks Only concept nine years ago because when he started out as a comedian he was “the black guy and I would make jokes about that”.
“I realised that I was just performing for white people for years. I would walk into a venue and there were 3,000 white people. Those were my first comedy shows. I counted that the only black people was just me and the waiters or someone that I brought with me to the show. I decided to start Blacks Only,” said Kau.
“I then decided that if a black comedian decides to perform in any other language apart from English they must have a platform. The idea is to create a platform for black comics so they can build a career,” said Kau.
He added: “The name of the show, Blacks Only, is also a rip off of the apartheid signage. Even though it’s called Blacks Only, the funny thing is that there are always white people in the front row… Every other comedy show is whites only, it’s just not called whites only.”
He said in Cape Town “most people still freak out when they hear the show is called Blacks Only”.
“They are insecure about their racial prejudice. They are not scared of blacks but this title brings up things that they don’t have to confront… We haven’t really discussed racism in our country,” said Kau.
“We live like everything is sorted and we’re just moving on. People think you can just forget apartheid and move on.”
Kau said the Blacks Only shows run three to four times a year in Johannesburg and sell a total 12,000 tickets annually. He selects up-and-coming and established comedians for a line-up, including a “token white comedian”.
Even though Blacks Only has a political connotation, Kau said his aim remains “to make people laugh for a living”.
“I don’t make jokes to get some message across. If something is not funny I’m not going to say anything about it. The message is secondary for me,” he said.
He does find himself often having to explain to people that he does not make jokes all the time, especially when they meet him for the first time.
“I’ve spent a lot of time telling people I don’t walk around telling jokes. I spend a lot of time telling people the worst thing you can do when you meet a comedian is ask them to tell you a joke. Come to my show,” he said.
“(The late TV presenter) Vuyo Mbuli asked me on Morning Live (TV show) to tell him a joke. I asked him on TV, ‘When you see a prostitute do you ask her to give you a blow job?’ He didn’t ask me to do that again.”
When Kau is not on stage, he’s running a film production company and has been commissioned by Mzansi Magic satellite channel to write, direct and produce five feature films.
Kau also recently traveled to Cannes to promote his film Blitz Patrolie at a film festival in that French city.
The Blacks Only show in Cape Town will feature puppet master Conrad Koch who was told to “bring a black or coloured puppet on the show”. Marc Lottering will also perform at the one-night-only show at the Grand Arena.