Written and performed by Loyiso Gola
4 stars out of 5
Perhaps one of the most interesting things about attending an arts fest with a dynamic entertainer is their ability to continue the show, loadshedding and all.
This is precisely what veteran comedian Loyiso Gola did in his performance on Monday night, when almost three quarter way through his show, the spot light which perfectly canvassed his body on the stage went out without warning, as an audience member shouted out: “Loadshedding!”
“Shall we try this without the lights then? Can everybody hear me?” Gola asked, and a unison “yes” echoed throughout Drill Hall.
Gola was wrapping up his show, Unlearning, which is currently showing at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. The comedian brought Unlearning, which has been on tour internationally, home for South African audiences following performances in New York, Finland and others.
The star of his show, however, was not his actual act, but the honest conversation which he had afterwards with the audience, when he invited guests to ask poignant questions following the power cut.
“What flavour condom are you wearing?” a lady blurted, referring to a previous statement during his act when he said: “I hate children so much I’m wearing a condom right now!”
A slightly flushed Gola replied: “Oh, you thought it’s dark now, so you’re getting excited. Probably strawberry.”
The throng of his show was his approach to all things unlearning, from racism, white privilege, growing up black and understanding his place in society as a black man.
“We cannot be so disconnected in life. The main point of my show is that we need each other, and we need to learn about one another in order to be a better people. And white people, my advice to you is to learn our languages. It is the best way to understand us,” he said.
The audience took in every word, even a few uncomfortable white audience members who nodded in agreement at his advice.
* You can still catch Unlearning at the Drill Hall on July 4, 5, 6 and 7