HE describes himself as a “s’khothane” (new-age black youth sub-culture) who hails from Zone 3, Meadowlands in Soweto, “… well I actually live in Yeoville (Joburg), but I spend most of my time in Soweto,” he says.
But the thing that is most striking about Pule (birth name, Nicholus Welch) – pictured – is that he is, in fact, very much a white South African.
The popular comedian will show Durban what he is all about this week when he performs at the 99% Zulu Comedy Show at The Playhouse on December 7 and 8.
Pule, who according to his biography, is affectionately known as “the black comic trapped in a white skin”, will share the stage with a host of popular comedians, namely Felix Hlophe, Celeste Ntuli, Thapelo Tips, Simphiwe Shembe, Isaac Gampu, Siyanda Maphumulo and Tall A$$ Mo.
To quote Pule, he is just “I-awuthi yasekasi” (a guy from the township) who speaks IsiCamtho (Tsotsi taal), Zulu, Sotho and English – and he is also learning French and Japanese. “I am a linguist and also involved in the study of languages,” the comic explains in a more serious tone. “I am involved in the study of languages, especially in Soweto. Languages like Isilifta and Jambula, which are sort of like a local pig latin. It’s a bit of a reverse language that’s believed to have originated in jail. In fact, I presented my thesis on this for the Linguistics Society of SA.”
Well! I’ve certainly learnt never to underestimate a comedian… on with the interview.
“Pule is s’khothane and he is all about iKasi style (loosely translated as a home-brewed, original kind of style). It is straight Kasi comedy, I’m s’khothane, I’m going to be testing waya waya.” So how did Pule become Pule? “I was doing shows at Wits University and I featured on a DVD called Strictly Vernac in 2009 (produced by Davies Maponya and Siyabonga Mkhize)… the DVD was big on the underground scene and people bootlegged it and just blew up.”
Pule has since been touring the country with his particular brand of kasi-oriented humour. He has filled the stand-up slot in three episodes of Laugh Out Loud for Mzansi Magic, he entertained Julius Malema at the ANC Youth League Comedy Show Polokwane 2011, was the headline act at 2012 State Theatre Comedy Nights and now he comes to Durban for the popular 99% Zulu Comedy Show.
Organiser Monwabisi Grootboom said: “The popular show will be staged over two days for the first time with an aim to accommodate most of its followers as many people are usually left without tickets due to its sold-out nature. The comical mix is a careful selection of experienced headline acts, with intelligent and relevant humour.”
• Both shows start at 8pm and tickets are available at Computicket at R150.