Award-winning comedian James Chomi Ya Jeso answers new calling

James Mahlokwane, known as James Chomi Ya Jeso. Bongz

James Mahlokwane, known as James Chomi Ya Jeso. Bongz

Published Jul 11, 2024


Former journalist James Mahlokwane - affectionately known as James Chomi Ya Jeso - believes he has found a new calling.

A SA Comics Choice Award winner, the Pretoria-based stand-up comedian and healing coach is fast gaining popularity for promoting healthy relationships among couples.

“Love is a gift from God meant to inspire us to support one another, build a connected world, and unite as families, friends, and communities. However, many are using it to cause pain, make others question their sanity, and create division,” he said.

“You can’t run from a spiritual calling,” said Mahlokwane. “I inherited this from my father Sienet Ben Mahlokwane, 78, who also inherited it from his uncle. My father is a pastor who has been helping couples since I was a child.

“He was essentially a counsellor and therapist, though he didn’t know the formal terms due to his lack of education. His gift has saved countless marriages and relationships, making him popular in Ivory Park and Burgersfort.”

In 2019, Mahlokwane won Best Newcomer Comedian in South Africa at the SA Comics Choice Awards. He said comedy was all he wanted to do at the time. “My brother used to tell me that as the youngest, I would inherit my father’s gift, but I laughed it off,” he said.

“I just wanted to be funny. But many gifted people told me after comedy shows that my powerful voice and ability to command crowds indicated a spiritual gift.”

After trying to avoid his calling, he began receiving messages about relationships in his sleep. These messages weighed on him until he made videos about them and posted them on social media.

These resonated with many and helped them heal. Couples have fixed their relationships through his intervention and teachings.

“I get my jokes in my sleep, and when I say this people think I am joking, but I am serious,” he said. “Today, I get messages about relationship issues and the misuse of love. It’s hard to explain, but I know this is part of my purpose, and it brings me fulfilment.”

Mahlokwane has been radio stations like Thobela FM to educate people about relationships. He aims to teach people across the country to adopt humility as a principle for building strong relationships. He believes humility and strategic communication can create lasting relationships because when one partner wins over the other, everyone loses.

While he helps people to build healthy relationships and speaks at events, he has not forgotten his first love, comedy and still direct programmes at events such as weddings.

Recently, he hosted a successful seminar titled, Love Hurts, Love Heals, in Pretoria, which was well-attended by the young and old.