Genevieve Vieira
2 minute read
16 Feb 2015
12:00 pm

Tats Nkonzo is set for international stardom

Genevieve Vieira

"Finally I get a chance to tell the world we don't eat white people and we didn't invent Ebola," says Tats Nkonzo.

The excited comedian has signed a deal with Mick Perrin Worldwide, the biggest comedy promoters in the world and home to the likes of Eddie Izzard, Dylan Moran, Ross Noble, Reginald D Hunter and our very own Trevor Noah.

This comes off the back of his win at the Montreux Comedy Contest last year, where he was first spotted by the comedy mogul.

Perrin has since taken him under his wing, with the aim of making him a worldwide success – and there’s no doubt Nkonzo has all the right jokes to do so.

Perrin described him as a “tremendous charm and talent, along with a natural sense of entertainment”.

The local legend went to Montreux to make sure people remember SA comedy – and it appears he got more than he bargained for.

“I had a point to prove and mindsets to shatter,” he says.

Having done so, Nkonzo will perform at the Edinburgh International Arts Festival in August; his biggest show to date.

When asked what this means for his career going forward, he jokes: “It means I need to renew my passport.”

Grégoire Furrer, founder of the Montreux Comedy Festival, celebrating its 25th anniversary, made this statement: “Comedy is a global art form and should have no borders. When we conceived the contest, our intention was to break down these borders and bring the comedy world together. I’m very happy that through this global talent search, we can now create opportunities like this for talented comedians such as Tats. I wish him every success in his new adventure with Mick Perrin Worldwide.”

Takunda Bimha, founder of Podium, the comedy merchant who partnered with the Montreux Comedy Festival to grow the Montreux Comedy Contest globally, said: “I’m incredibly thrilled Tats has been picked up by Mick Perrin Worldwide. I’ve always maintained we have truly world-class talent in this country and if more opportunities were provided, you would see more SA comedians on the world stage. I’m very proud of Tats and the journey he has travelled to get here.”