Comedian Mashabela Galane chats to us about his upcoming Rock the Mother Tongue Comedy Show that will have jokes in isiZulu, Setswana, Sepedi and Sesotho. By Fundiswa Nkwanyana
I grew up in a village where I was a herd boy. I wasn’t exposed to a lot of things, so growing up in an environment where there was not much to do made me think out of the box from a young age. There were no libraries or laboratories at school, so I depended heavily on my imagination to get by.
I was funny at school, but didn’t think that I could turn it into a career. I enjoyed making my classmates laugh, and seeing them doing that made me happy. This later turned into a passion and in 2007, I became a comedian. I love telling jokes about my life experiences.
The biggest challenge that I continue to face is choosing to do comedy in my mother tongue, Sepedi. This type of comedy wasn’t popular when I first started; venues were not willing to support it. In order to overcome this challenge, I decided to create the Rock the Mother Tongue Comedy Show and only work with venues that embrace my brand. These annual events are for people who enjoy listening to jokes in their mother tongue.
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I’m excited about the upcoming comedy show. Some jokes get lost in translation, so this is a great opportunity for people to hear jokes in other South African languages. An interesting blend of comedians will tell proudly South African jokes.