Loyiso Gola helps us unlearn


Unlearning is one of the hardest things to do, but if we do, we will achieve more as people than when we are stuck in our own stereotypical points of view. In Loyiso Gola’s latest piece, Loyiso Gola is Unlearning, it’s interesting how he spent a good part of his routine playing on the stereotypes many of us have – in order to get his point across.

Gola tread the fine line between making fun of popular Christian thought and attacking theology. He walked it beautifully.

Gola was politely offensive, debunking common cultural myths while making everyone feel better about themselves. Gola was his usual ‘political’ self, but focused less on current affairs. He used global political trends – along with personal narratives –  to make hard-hitting, provocative points. Thoughtful and engaging, he had the crowd in constant laughter and at ease with their flaws, along with his own.

Loyiso Gola. Photo: Oscar Vilanculos

His use of isiXhosa on occasion powerfully and deliberately makes a statement about how white people could make more effort to lean vernacular: a necessary discussion South Africans are starting to have. But where does one draw the line? This is not only a white people problem, it is a South African problem. There is a general unwillingness among South Africans to learn other official languages. The linguistic disconnect is clear when we use public transport, for instance. Whether we like to admit it or not, black people need to unlearn their own tribal stereotypes.

A knowledgeable performer, Gola taught us more than we expected, and we enjoyed every minute. Gola is not a comedian for everyone; you simply need to watch him to know whether or not he suits your fancy. But you’ll certainly be selling yourself short if you choose not to watch at all.

Catch Loyiso Gola is Unlearning at the Drill Hall everyday from the 30th of June to the 7th of July.

By Karabo Baloyi