Funnyman Sifiso Nene. Picture: Eugene Nagel

Stand up comedian Sifiso Nene is ready to move up in the comedy world by doubling up as club owner by launching his new comedy club, The Comedy Basement, previously known as The Goliath Comedy Club in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

The "So You Think You’re Funny!" winner says it all started as a joke when he hinted to the previous owners, fellow comics Goliath brothers if they would ever “want to let go” of the venue, he will gladly take over.

“At the time I didn’t have a clue about what I was going to do with the place," he chuckles as we begin to chat about this exciting business venture.

“In March, I was performing in the venue ... so jokingly after the performance, said to the guys (Goliaths) should you want to let go of this venue, please let me know."

Nene, who’s been in the comedy game for nearly a decade, says his plan for the year was to branch out internationally — the US, in particular — but then this deal came along and he’s thrilled to take this venue that has hosted some of the comedy heavyweights to the next level.

"I wanted to go to New York but I had to put that plan on hold, for now, to focus on the business," says Nene.

Nene says it didn’t take long for the Goliaths to take him up on his offer. In April they (Goliaths) called me, we signed the deal, and “they said after the take over I can do whatever I want to do with the place. I then started working on the master plan”.

Asked what sets The Comedy Basement apart from other comedy clubs in Mzansi, Nene enthused: “ We will be doing comedy in all 11 official languages on a monthly basis.

"Every language has its day ... like 25 July, the official opening night, is the Zulu show, so there’s a Zulu line up featuring Celeste Ntuli, myself, Trevor Gumbi and Tumi Stopnonsons," explains Nene.

"On Wednesday, July 26, is Xhosa,  featuring the likes of Siya Seya, Lazola Gola, Zola Xluva, Luphelo Kodwa.

“The comedy club will cater for all, for instance if you like strictly vernac comedy or your prefer Afrikaans only, we cater for you ... we accommodate all the 11 official languages, so no one should feel left out and we're not mimicking any other venue, because this is a first of its kind.”

The official launch is July 25, shows will run till August 4. Tickets are R130 at Webtickets.

Follow Nene @SifisoNene

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