Newcastle’s very own funnyman, Mr Wow

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Stand-up comedians captivate people with their unique sense of humour, tackling everyday issues and adding a lighter side to otherwise serious matters.

Being able to snap us out of our realities and through the power of laughter, show us a more comical approach to our problems.

Over the years, South Africa has seen several stand-up comedians rise to stardom, leaving their audiences in side-splitting laughter. Yet, it seems that in the South African entertainment industry, there are not many Newcastillian comedians. Or are there?

Busani Mkhize aka Mr Wow is a local born comedian well on his way to new heights.

“I was initially a poet and in October 2010, there was a comedy competition in Madadeni, I decided to take part. From there, I knew this is what I wanted to do.”

How does one go from writing poetry to doing stand-up comedy?

“Comedy allows me to express myself in ways poetry could not. During my shows, I focus on an array of topics. I talk about politics, religion, race issues, current affairs and so on, always seeing the funny side of the matter.”

Furthermore, Busani says as his father was a taxi driver, he is able to follow in his father’s footsteps in a figurative manner. “My father physically took people from point A to point B. I am able to take people from a state of sadness and seriousness to laughter.”

As a comedian, what challenges does he face as he builds his career?

“One of the hardest challenges as a comedian is securing gigs and getting people to know your name. I am rather fortunate in developing a solid reputation for myself though.”

Over the past nine years, Busani has built such a reputation for himself, that he has performed with well-known comedians.

“Highlights of my career thus far include doing shows with Mark Banks, Celeste Ntuli, Kenneth Nkosi and Skhumba Hlope,” he enthuses.

Performing in Johannesburg, Durban and Pietermaritzburg, Busani is truly making a name for himself in the entertainment industry.

However, how did he come up with the stage name Mr Wow?

“When I was in school, my teachers would ask me a question. I would always give such a silly and unusual answer, that my teacher would just look at me and say, ‘wow’. The other children then would call me Mr Wow and the nickname just stuck,” laughs Busani.

Having done gigs with well-known comedians, Busani has high hopes for the future. “In five years’, I would like to see myself travelling to different towns and continents, being known as a one-man show.”

With his eyes on the future and bringing laughter to the masses, Busani is a proud Newcastillian. Who is truly making his hometown extremely proud.

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