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Local comedians share survival tips for tough times

Theshen Naicker, a.k.a. Aunty Sheila.

Theshen Naicker, a.k.a. Aunty Sheila.

Published Jan 11, 2022

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LIFESTYLE - IT IS often said that when life gets you down, laughter is the best medicine.

As we enter a new year -- off the back of a widely stressful 2021 and with largely bleak predictions for 2022 -- the POST spoke to local comedians about some of their survival tips for tough times.

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They've shared some less conventional advice and their hopes for the new year.

Theshen Naicker, best known for his alter ego, Aunty Sheila, said cooking curry on an outside fire is a sure way to navigate challenging financial times.

“Let me tell you, it's got me through mother-in-law dramas, it's got me through sister-in-law wars and plenty of uncles’ tricks. I always say, just add some extra birth masala and enjoy. Crushing those bones is therapeutic for me and leaves me smiling and satisfied. Also, it's good for these Covid times,” said Aunty Sheila.

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Naicker also said his biggest survival technique has been to remain grateful for all that he has.

“My advice to others is to stop focusing on what you don't have, and start celebrating the things that you do have, such as your family or a good friend, among other things.”

Naicker said his greatest hope for 2022 was that he could continue to maintain sound peace of mind.

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“People underestimate the power of a mind that is peaceful and in a state of calm. I aspire to stay focused on myself, to love myself and know that I am enough.”

Preven Reddy, popularly known for his alter ego, Aunty Shamilla, said his survival technique was not to burden himself with stress.

Prev Reddy a.k.a Aunty Shamilla. Supplied

“Take the time to breathe and just relax. I realised we are already living in such stressful times and there is no need to add more stress on yourself, it is not healthy. I also learnt to embrace those quiet moments, as I cannot change what is not in my control. Also, remain positive, even though it may be difficult.

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Reddy said the best tip he had to offer others was to mind their own business in the new year.

“In 2022 I don't want to hear anyone poking their nose in anyone else's business. You had two years in your house to focus on yourself. You must go forward and take the information and data you gathered about yourself while sitting in the house and use it to better yourself, better your work environment and the world. The last thing we really need is more noses in other people’s business, as it is keeping your nose too close to someone else that is also part of spreading the pandemic."

Reddy said his greatest hope for 2022 was for the entertainment industry to be fully operational and safe.

Natashia Munian, known as Bash with Tash, said to keep her sanity she basically refused to do house work.

Natasha Munian a.k.a. Bash with Tash

“I mean, I motivated my husband all the way…”

Munian said her advice for others was to remain focused and fixed on one's goals in the new year.

“Stop looking only at the challenges, but also find a silver lining in every situation. Yes, it has been the toughest two years, but you need to soldier on. Make your strides and don't be afraid to fall and fail, as it's what makes us stronger. Also… send the husband for holidays to his family's house…”

Munian said her hope for the new year was: "To follow a path that God leads me to, and to pursue so much more in my career.”

Rory Petzer said he had a few survival tips for South Africans -- some for load shedding and some for the managing petrol useage.

Rory Petzer. Supplied

“To beat the fuel price, have a brick fitted to the inside of your petrol tank so it costs less to fill up. Also, it’s a little-known secret that when you drive in reverse, your car pumps the petrol back into the tank...

“For load shedding, when the power goes out at night, send a message to all your WhatsApp groups telling everyone to put their hands in the air. Many hands make light work. Finally, my one never fail survival tip is never, ever trust the packaging. Sometimes the noodles take more than two minutes."

His advice to others: “If the 11pm curfew is a little too much for you, simply set your clock forward by three hours and party until 2am. And, wear your mask under your chin when you eat, so it catches the overflow."

Petzer said his greatest hope for 2022 was that it was not the same as the past two years.

“Oh, and Eskom winning the Powerball would be great too."

Kamalan Kamz Govender said: “The one way we, as a family, kept sane was always ensuring there were mango pickles in the fridge… Nothing calms our family down like a good meal."

Kamalan Kamz Govender. Supplied

Govender said his hope for the new year was for live, stand-up comedians to be able to go out and entertain people in their numbers again.

Arnotte Payne said his survival tip has been to ensure a high level of ‘funny’.

Arnotte Payne. Supplied

His advice to others during this time: “Comedians shouldn’t tell Covid jokes, they may just catch it. And to our readers, as my grandmother used to say, 'Your legs itching. You can’t stay in the house?!’"

Payne said his hope for the new year was being able to create an income in the face of the pandemic.

“And whichever wave it is, there’s a need to monetise social media activities, like politicians monetise their positions in government…”

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