Tats Nkonzo’s Conversational Comedy


Tats Nkonzo had audiences howling with laughter in the second leg of his Tats Nkonzo is Privileged comedy show. The 2017 Ovation Award winner had audiences engaged from the very beginning with his conversational style of performance.

“This show came from very uncomfortable places I put myself in,” said Tats as he relayed situations of awkward race and class relations. He tapped into these complex and multilayered issues by making fun of himself and how he related with his white friends.

Tats Nkonzo at the Tats Nkonzo is Privileged Comedy Show. Photo by Anima McBrown

The pressure one often feels to break certain stereotypes makes for hilarious anecdotes and interesting lessons learnt. Noting that he may be black but he does not share the same socio-economic status as many black people, he highlighted some of the issues of the growing middle-class and affluent black population.

Race relations will always be a big part of the culture of comedy in South Africa. Uncomfortable things often happen that leave people laughing at themselves and the world in which they live.

These conflicts teach us that different groups do not exist in silos. The messy and often contradictory values we live by demand that we take it with a pinch of salt, especially while living in South Africa.

Tackling language and politics, Tats Nkonzo had the crowd in stitches. Photo by Anima McBrown

Tats engaged with the crowd in a way few other comedians usually do. He was genuinely interested in their opinions and that made the show even better. His usual use of song adds colour and a unique level of participation from the audience. His dynamic use of the stage shows the impressive amount of energy he puts into each performance. He is a joy to watch.

Black millennial parents often grapple with children learning vernacular while attending English-medium schools. Tats asked for advice from some of the older people in the audience about teaching his children IsiXhosa and received sound advice. Hopefully he will use it and let us know how it goes.

Tats Nkonzo talking naughty games and dishing out punch lines. Photo by Anima McBrown

“Force yourself to get into awkward situations. If it feels awkward, it’s working,” he said. A lesson all South Africans can use in an age where difference in highlighted and there is a growing global divide between various groups.

Catch Tats Nkonzo is Privileged at the Drill Hall everyday until the 7th of July

By Karabo Baloyi