Sans Moonsamy opens up about his journey into comedy and joining the film industry

Sans Moonsamy as Alvin in ‘Mr. Bones 3: Son of Bones’. Picture: Supplied

Sans Moonsamy as Alvin in ‘Mr. Bones 3: Son of Bones’. Picture: Supplied

Published May 17, 2024


If you are at all familiar with Durban’s comedy scene, then there is no doubt that you will have heard of Sans Moonsamy.

Since he arrived in the industry, Moonsamy has become a key figure in the world of entertainment. Aside from comedy, he is also an actor and filmmaker.

In the acting space, you will recall him as Alvin in Mr. Bones 3: Son of Bones and Abdul in “Land of Milk and Money”.

Born in Greenwood Park in Durban North, Moonsamy described his childhood as “great, with lots of fun”. And that is how and when his love for drama started.

“I come from a musical family. A big portion of my inspiration was my grandmother who was a teacher, dancer, and actress. She inspired me a lot. I was 19 years old when I wrote my first play for the school.

“It was an amazing experience and I just knew that acting was something I wanted to do in life.

“After matric, I enrolled at the University of Natal (now known as UKZN) where I got my BA degree in Drama, Psychology and Performing Studies. That is when my dream of being in stages began.”

Sans Moonsamy as Alvin in ‘Mr. Bones 3: Son of Bones’. Picture: Supplied

He continued: “When I studied there back in 1997 I was met with an amazing team who were lovely and enabled my theatrical career. In my first year of school, I was fortunate enough to be selected and cast in a student play that was set to perform at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

“It was a bit daunting, however, it was an amazing experience because it was my first breakthrough sort of role.

“I only had eight lines or so in the play but every line was funny so every time I came on I got an amazing response from the crowd. That was one of the things that made me fall in love with the fact that I could also do comedy.”

Moonsamy did more plays at schools but another one that stood out for him was when he was now doing his third year.

He got cast in a play called “War Cry”, which was written by the incredible John van de Ruit, who later went on to turn the play into a famous novel called “Spud", which also later became a movie.

“It was an interesting journey as we toured and the play won so many awards, it was great being a part of such excellence. And my big step into the industry immediately started as soon as I finished my final year,” he said.

After years of acting, Moonsamy entered the world of comedy and film.

Sans Moonsamy. Picture: Supplied

“As I grew in the acting industry I wanted to do other things and test my skills so I started learning things within those other facets like film production and directing.

“The first big film that I wrote and directed that went to cinema and streaming platforms thereafter was ‘Red Room’ starring the super amazing Khanyi Mbau.

“That was an incredible project, a great story, and one of my proudest pieces of work for various reasons. We won awards and I was nominated for best director and best production. It was a great breakthrough for my first major film,” he said.

Moonsamy said it was very challenging for him to make the change from being an actor to filmmaker.

He said: “Production itself is a very difficult board game, it is so intense - it takes so much planning and effort.”

“For me, film directing is a special craft. I started it 10 years ago and what I love about it is structuring the picture and how people view a story, how the characters are framed in the picture, getting them to perform, and guiding and shaping that process is amazing.

“The other beauty of being a film director is that you link to all the departments on the ground and get everybody to work together and also create a fun environment,” he added.

When it comes to comedy, Moonsamy said he has grown so much.

“The more you do something the more confident you are. I have learned a lot of my own tricks and ways to be calm and understand the different audiences that I perform to now.

“I always ready my audience immediately and figure out what to give them - which is always the best of work,” he said.

At the moment, Moonsamy is busy with his new comedy show, “Cake Litey”. Launched in Suncoast Casino in March, he will be performing in 10 cities across the country.