Broken English – don’t worry, we’re all in the same boat here!

'Broken English' by the talented duo: Schalk Bezuidenhout & Loyiso Madinga. Photo: Kyle Prinsloo/Cue.

There’s something about South African comedy that has me wiggling in my seat with laughter. And then there’s Broken English. This is what you get when you cross a second language speaker with a profession as a comedian.

Schalk Bezuidenhout and Loyiso Madinga bring the National Arts Festival a whole new level of comedy. Its relatable, its relevant, and its variation of experiences of being a South African citizen has audiences in stitches.

Schalk Bezuidenhout presents the quintessential Afrikaans humour. Photo: Kyle Prinsloo/Cue.

The Afrikaans experience is calmly presented by Bezuidenhout – be it about growing up Afrikaans, who is to blame for Apartheid, and even how to deal with the lack of privacy when on holiday at a game lodge with the parents. What stood out for me the most was how he interacted with the younger masses of last night’s audience while their teachers and other adults were present – there were far too many school students to unleash the usual language and cadre of topics on a comedy stage. And yet he steered the first half of the show with all the ease and grace this awkward age gap provided.


Loyiso Madinga takes your breath away – literally – with his hilarious sketches. Photo: Kyle Prinsloo/Cue.

Audiences were then treated to Madinga’s comic public service announcement, aimed at the young students, about why not every drug was for them. As he went on, he challenged and and practically decimated the often preconceived idea that teenagers don’t know about life and what’s going on in the world. Although the young audiences didn’t relate to every land and race joke, the adults in the house thoroughly enjoyed every sketch he had on offer.

Both comedians interacted with the audience about relatable topics easing them into the expected yet still shocking punchlines. Now I don’t promise this often, but this show will have you question your sense of humour if you don’t find Broken English funny. Catch their final show at the Bowling Club on 5 July at 13:00.

You can also catch this phenomenal duo in their individual acts. Madinga performs Loyiso Madinga Live at Drill Hall on 5 July at 16:00, 6 July at 13:00 and 7 July at 19:00. Bezuidenhout performs in his one-man show Jersey Boy at the Bowling Club on 5 July 17:00 and 22:00.

By Shraddha Patnala