Durban - Osman Osman and Shaaista Khan Osman are the power couple behind the mega comedy show, Kings & Queens of Comedy, which will see the cream of South Africa’s comedic talent on the stage at Durban ICC on February 9.
The show is also set to make its international debut this year with plans to take Kings & Queens to the Middle East and Australia.
Speaking to The Independent on Saturday this week, Osman said they were “”newbies” in the industry when, as Blu Blood lifestyle and management services, they created the big line-up comedy concept and put together the first Kings & Queens show.
“We had only been married for a year and we had just done Joey Rasdien’s Mixed DNA show.
“At that point I was dead against doing a Kings & Queens Show as the comedy scene was so male dominated at that time, there was probably less than five female comedians, such as Tumi Morake.
“I was more in favour of doing a ‘Kings’ show, but Shaaista was determined and so we went ahead.
“At first, we had to look outside the country for additional female comedians, but that has changed and we now have a whole crop of female comedians,” he said.
With the boom in the industry over the last few years, Osman said comedy provided a break from everyday issues and challenges.
“People need to laugh and forget about their problems. And with the volatility we have in South Africa, comedians also get to talk about serious topics which can be addressed through laughter.
“As South Africans, we can laugh at ourselves and there are only a few topics that comedians need to stay away from,” he said.
This year’s show has a huge line-up of names including Marc Lottering, Riaad Moosa, Rory Petzer, Annalakshmi, Celeste Ntuli, Donovan Goliath, Leeanda Reddy and Sagie Murugan, as well as an appearance by Logie Naidoo, socialite politician and eThekwini’s former Speaker.
Local DJ Darren Maule will MC the evening.
“Darren has also brought some memorable moments to the show over the years, including a marriage proposal that took place during the show. One year, the comedians didn’t realise Shaaista and I were married and thought we were having an affair.
“Someone asked Shaaista what her husband would think of it. When she said I was her husband, Rasdien got up on the table and shouted: ‘We got it all wrong guys!’ It’s still a joke today,” said Osman.
He added that social media had also played a major role in their success, and the large screens for tweeting during the show had encouraged audience interaction and added to the humour.
“When there’s a live tweet telling a comedian he’s not funny, that just opens it up to more fun,” he said.
The couple also have close ties with the Bollywood industry having hosted some big names such as Adnan Sami, Sonu Nigam, Atif Aslam, Rahat Fateh, Ali Khan, Mika Singh, Shreya Goshal and Mystic India, as well as Arjiit Singh who will be back for a show in Durban next month.
“We have taken Bollywood shows to countries across Africa. Since we were the newbies in the industry, the last six years have been a learning curve and we have formed so many, many relationships.”
And while Durban has often been dubbed as lethargic when it comes to supporting shows, with the public often buying tickets only on the day, Osman said Durbanites had proved to be enthusiastic about Kings & Queens.
“Durban comes out in support of this show, they love this type of entertainment and we have the rainbow nation of comedians,” said Osman.
Kings & Queens of Comedy will take place on February 9 at the Durban ICC. The show starts at 8pm and is rated PG. Tickets are from R200, available at Computicket and other retail outlets.
The Independent on Saturday