Loyiso Madinga looks at the audience mischievously. Then he says: “Enjoy an Aids joke, people.” This was a part of A Long Way From My Village - his episode of the Netflix special, Comedians of the World.
Madinga was one of four South Africans - including Tumi Morake, Riaad Moosa and Loyiso Gola - who were chosen to join over 40 comedians around the globe in a special that was released at the beginning of this year. But back to the Aids quip.
That bit of the gag is significant because it’s a reminder of how Madinga is not afraid to make people uncomfortable. It was all good when he was making jokes about Jehovah’s Witnesses and people in wheelchairs. It’s always refreshing to see a comedian who is willing to risk it all.
“It was a risk. I’m literally going: alriiiight, let’s throw this joke out there. When people laugh, they’re telling you: ‘we get it, we understand, we are with you, we’re on board’.
“You don’t say anything without purpose. There’s a reason I said enjoy an Aids joke. It’s to send out a message to stop stigmatising Aids. If I had just said: ‘Guys, let’s not make this a stigma’, they would be like: ‘ok, and?’ My rule is: if you’re going to make a point on stage, make it funny.”