Published: 20/03/2014 11:42 - Updated: 20/03/2014 11:55

Daliso knows the rules when it comes to African comedy

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Daliso Chaponda
Daliso Chaponda

MALAWIAN comedian Daliso Chaponda is a well travelled man.

In fact, Daliso did not actually visit his home country until he was nine because of his family’s opposition to dictatorial president Hastings Banda, and it was in Canada that Daliso made his debut as a comedian while a student.

At the time, the only stand-up comedy Daliso had seen was Eddie Murphy’s concert film Raw, and that only because he like the American star’s films.

"I didn’t know stand-up was something you got paid for," he admitted.

"I thought it was something you did as an actor as a one-man show. So when I first went to a comedy club at the age of 20, it blew my mind."

Making his debut with some humorous poetry, Daliso quickly became hooked on making people laugh.

"All the gamblers who have a serious problem, the first night they tried it, they won," he chuckled.

"I did extremely well — partly because half the audience were people I knew! I just kept going back trying to recapture that feeling."

Based in the UK, he now performs regularly across Africa, although he admits that this does require him to be more cautious with his material than he needs to be in Britain.

"Because I grew up in Africa, I generally know the rules," he said.

"I imagine my dad in the audience — generally that will let me know what the line is! But even then I’ve got in trouble with the Malawi censorship board — and this was me trying to be on best behaviour!"

However, Daliso also finds humour a great way of addressing potentially inflammatory topics, such as the treatment of the gay community in Ugandaa, the subject of a radio play written by Daliso and broadcast earlier this year.

"The best thing about humour is that you can talk to people about sensitive things and they don’t feel that you’re attacking them," he said.


WARNING: Contains adult language.

• Daliso Chaponda appears at Comedy@Nairn at Nairn Community and Arts Centre on Saturday 22nd March. Also on the bill are Bruce Morton and Danny Deegan.

Doors open at 8pm with the comedy under way at 8.45pm.

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