The combination of Tembisa’s Skhumba Hlophe and Pretoria’s top purveyor of nyaope delinquency Thapelo “Tips” Seemise proved a winner at the Soweto Theatre.
The show illustrated, in a way, that factionalism among “hoods” is a thing of the past when this duo, aided by David Kau, created comedy that thrilled the audience, inducing regular spasms of laughter.
A thoroughly excited patron exclaimed after the show he could not imagine life before the Soweto Theatre was established. His friend calmly nodded his head in agreement as the patron enthused about how, in the new South Africa, he did not have to travel long distances for entertainment – largely in his own language.
The happy chap had a point. David Kau has said often that when he started comedy he was often the only black voice in the industry. As a pioneer he must have been pleased at his success with Blacks Only. although it predominantly takes place in non-township locales, but things seemed to be heading in the right direction.
While Hlophe’s mannerisms and slang are not different to hoods in Gauteng with a Zulu base, Seemise is strange fruit for Sowetans. He is exotic, as residents from the capital are in their own world, with a language particular to their environment.
The contrast was not only in style and language, but in their physical demeanour. Hhlophe is a hefty fellow with a deep bass voice while Seemise is a skinny gent with a gentler disposition.
This combination made for great comedy.