Entertainment / Celebs And Viral

Kulani Nkuna
2 minute read
10 Aug 2013
7:05 am

Seemise feels he’s earned a Comics Choice Award

Kulani Nkuna

Besides house music, Pretoria and its townships don't offer much in the popular arts sector.

Television narratives and other music genres are sourced from Johannesburg and Soweto for the most part. Like Cape Town folks, Pretoria residents are proud of their city and mention this fact at every opportunity.

The good people of Mamelodi, Soshanguve and Garankuwa live in a world of their own. They even have their own language, sense of style and general decorum. Although they may speak Tswana or Sotho, it is easy to ascertain that they hail from Pretoria pretty quickly, due to the particular slang they use, which seems to incorporate new words and phrases daily.

Television producers should make more shows set in this area so that this amusing slang can become more of a national asset than a regional entity. The street drug nyaope is wreaking havoc in these communities, but the behaviour of local addicts, combined with the city’s peculiar style of speech, has become a great source of material for stand-up comedians. Eugene Khoza has some gags about addicts who offer to wash your windscreens at robots and how they go about asking for change.

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Thapelo “Tips” Seemise

But Thapelo “Tips” Seemise deserves to be made Pretoria’s ambassador, thanks to his depiction of these drug users under the guise of his alter ego, Shampoo. Seemise is flying the Pretoria flag high in other locales and Shampoo is perhaps the best character created on a comedy stage since Roni Modimolla’s Sidepocket. While Seemise is talented on his own, it is the nyaope-addicted Shampoo that guarantees laughs.

“People love that character and it has given me a bit of an edge,” Seemise says of Shampoo.

“What I like about him is that he is sharp and he has answers for everything. The initial idea was to create awareness about the effects of drugs, but the users say I am re-presenting them when I am on stage, which is strange because I don’t even drink or smoke.”

The comedian is also perplexed by the language employed by citizens of the capital. He says the city’s leadership should explain to people what exactly is going on.

“I am not fluent in any language or mother-tongue but I am fluent in ‘Pretorian’,” Seemise says.

“We can’t speak the Tswana we learned at school in the streets. Maybe the mayor should explain what is going on with his people because he speaks like us when he is in comrade mode.”

Seemise has been nominated in The Savanna Audience Choice Award in the upcoming Comics Choice Awards, and he believes that the gong has his name written all over it.

“I have campaigned and I feel like I have won already, and I will reward the fans who voted for me with some shows,” says Seemise.