Getting to know funnyman Mashabela Galane

Mashabela Galane has made a name for himself with his unique, side-splitting brand of comedy

Having won a Savanna Comics’ Choice Award twice and boasting showcases and appearances in Strictly Vernac (DVD), Opening Guys (Mzansi Magic), Teenagers on the Move (SABC1), District 9 and Invictus (both Hollywood), Galane has earned his stripes in the comedic industry.

He has performed all over Southern Africa, including Lesotho and Botswana, on his well-known Botsisa Papago Tour, alongside a fellow comedian.

He’s had shows at the Durban ICC and the State, Lyric, Soweto, Market and Baxter theatres. His highlight so far was a sold-out show at the Big Top Arena at Carnival City, which was recorded for the DVD, Rock the Mother Tongue. Destiny MAN had an exclusive conversation with the rising comedian.

When did you realise you had a gift for comedy?

I’m a very quiet person off stage, a man of very few words. But I’ve always connected with a crowd or audience. Back in high school, I’d always make fun of the teachers and fellow students; they’d all laugh at my jokes, but one on one, I had very little to say. I think that’s when I realised that I needed a mic and stage.

READ MORE: SA’s first comedy cartel

What separates a funny person from a straight-up comedian?

Funny people are funny naturally, there’s no effort put into it. Whatever they say or do is just funny. Comedians are funny and smart; it’s very strategic. You have to be aware of your audience or rather how to convey something in a funny manner. You have to know how to win over your audience and anticipate their reactions. It’s not easy to win over an audience. I engage more with them during my sets and that grabs them. Being funny does play a role, though.

In what situations do you usually come up with your best jokes?

I have something called #PapagoUnplugged that I mostly do in the car and it’s mostly about current affairs, public interest or whatever has people talking at that particular moment. I enjoy being around people and just observing them. A lot of my jokes are about day-to-day activities and experiences. Also, when that one person tries to share a gag and it doesn’t work, I think of a spin to make it work.

What do you like to do to get yourself ready for a performance?

I don’t really have a ritual or anything like that. I normally just peep at the audience and get a feel for the crowd. I’m hardly ever nervous – more excited, rather. I always look foward to getting the mic in my hand and laughing with my audience. I do hype myself up. I’m my own biggest hype man. I always say to myself: “I’ve got this, I’m going to kill it, Satan is not going to show off.”