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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

Rising star Khabane Moloi credits mother’s support for comedy award nomination

Khabane Moloi is nominated in the Savanna Comics’ Choice Comedy Awards Newcomer of the Year category alongside four other comedians.

Savanna Comics’ Choice Comedy Awards Newcomer of the Year nominee Khabane Moloi said his mother is the reason he decided to enter the competition, despite encouragement from seasoned comics.

“My mom is the reason I entered the competition… I realised that my mom has believed in me for the longest time,” Khabane told The Citizen.

The 22 year-old added that his mother didn’t pressurise him to go into more conservative careers like medicine or law.

“She said whatever I do, as long as I’m working hard at it I’ll be successful. She used to act and used to be TV presenter, everyone is in the creative field at home” averred the lanky comedian, who is also broadcaster Pabi Moloi’s younger brother.

“They [family] were so happy for me, my sister and I had an emotional phone call on the day it was announced, said Khabane.

His mother, Nana Moloi is a former actress who played the character of Angel on the 1994 film Ipi Tombi.

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‘I did expect it’

Khabane was part of 20 comedians who first performed at Sandton’s Theatre on The Square in January, where they competed so as to be selected as one of the five newcomer nominees.

“I’m not gonna lie, I did expect to make the top five… It still feels surreal, it’s sinking in every day,” Khabane.

He is nominated alongside Mr Chase, Mzonke Maloney, Thula Sithole and Callum Hitchcock. The latter is who Khabane is rooting for. The Cape Townian, Hitchcock, was one of the standouts in the initial performance.

Competition for the Newcomer Award was tight, with undiscovered comics putting their best foot forward. The likes of Nolwazi Nkwandla, Molokela Makola and Zachary Esau were unfortunate to not be nominated.

“I feel like it’s very weird to compete in art,” Khabane averred. “A lot of comics told me to enter.”

Khabane has a weekly comedy show, I Love Comedy, which happens in Joburg. It is a platform for comics to try out their material. It is through the I Love Comedy shows that Khabane has built his name on the comedy scene.

While speaking to The Citizen at the Newcomer Showcase in January, Mpho Popps Modikoane said he was impressed by Khabane because, “he’s so goofy. He has it all… the material, the look and stage presence”.

“I mean, it feels great to be receiving love from all these guys,” said Khabane.  “I call all of them, Ebenhaezer Dibakwane, Tsitsi Chiumya…big bros. All the guys that previously won the Newcomer Award encouraged me to enter the competition.”  

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