Comedian Nina Hastie is a riot in "Thuma Nina", her one-woman stand-up show at the POPArt Theatre. Picture: Supplied
Comedian Nina Hastie is a riot in "Thuma Nina", her one-woman stand-up show at the POPArt Theatre. Picture: Supplied

Nina Hastie is a hoot in her comedy show 'Thuma Nina'

By Debashine Thangevelo Time of article published Jan 10, 2020

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Comedian, actress, voice-over artist and talk show host, Nina Hastie is a master of many trades. 

Of course, her knack for tickling the funny bone is what audiences appreciate best about her. Admittedly, she is in her element when she’s cracking jokes.

This is why you should check her out in "Thuma Nina", which is currently on at POPArt Theatre in Maboneng Precinct.

Interestingly, the title of the show is a play on a phrase once used by Cyril Ramaphosa during the 2017 presidential campaign. 

Hastie explains, “'Thuma Nina' is a play on the phrase ‘Thuma Mina’, which was used by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his 2017 presidential campaign. Translated from isiZulu into English, it means, ‘Send me’.”

Of course, she gave it a different take, which looks at how so much of what she has done in her life got lost in translation. 

On the scenarios she explores for comic relief in the play, she reveals, “I explain what it’s like to grow up in Pretoria and all the ways I tried to re-socialize South Africa by myself and just made a blunder of it all.”

How much of yourself did you inject into the script? 

Hastie responds, “I talk about all my own experiences, my failed rap career, roles I’ve played on television. I also talk about dating and transactional relationships in South Africa; but, of course, with my own take on it.”

As for what audiences will take away from the show, aside from a sore tummy, of course, she says, “Hopefully, they will learn that South Africans across race borders have more in common than they know.”

Although Hastie has staged this show previously, the feedback from audiences merited a few changes. 

She explains, “I have tweaked the script, I need to perform it as many times as I can so that it can be a good show to record for TV. South African stand-up comedians don’t have the privilege of taking the show on a 20- state, fully-packed stadium tour, to tweak and test material; we barely have enough comedy venues... so the only way to actually rehearse is in front of a live audience. And in order to do that, one has to do a run in a theatre. That’s why it’s important for audiences to come and watch our shows so that we can improve them.”

Next stop for "Thuma Nina" is the Mother City Comedy Festival. 

“And 'Thuma Nina' will be live at The Baxter Theatre on February 28,” she adds.

In the meantime, she busy with, “writing a book and tidying my house in preparation for this year, which seems like a never-ending job”.

The 60-minute show is on at the POPArt Theatre (286 Fox Street) at 8pm on Friday and Saturday (January 10 and 11) and at 3.30pm and 8pm on Sunday (January 12). Ticket prices vary from R100, R120 to R140. 

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