Meet KG. Our Young Bill Cosby, Only Far Heavier

Cape Times (South Africa), March 25, 2014 | Go to article overview

Meet KG. Our Young Bill Cosby, Only Far Heavier


KAGISO "KG" Mokgadi has often wondered why his father hasn't been rewarded by the ANC with a nice, cushy government job after 1994. The conclusion he's since come to, as he tells us in Heavy, is that the old man obviously didn't struggle enough during apartheid.

It wouldn't have been that difficult either, Mokgadi believes, and leaving his passbook at home before taking a walk late one night would most likely have done the job. Alas.

Successfully executing this kind of joke on stage is a tricky affair that requires both a bold comedian as well as a compassionate human being. Described as "the overweight son of a sangoma and a Western medicine nurse who considers fist fighting an inconvenience", Mokgadi possesses both these qualities without a doubt; delivering his often risque punchlines wrapped in empathy and fortitude.

Produced by Siv Ngesi and directed by Rob van Vuuren, Heavy sees Mokgadi return to the Baxter after opening there for Nik Rabinowitz earlier this year. It is the up-and-coming local comic's first headline stand-up show and arrives in the Mother City following its debut at last year's National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

"My show is called Heavy because the material is heavy. Not dark (topic wise), but heavy, punching material," explains Mokgadi in a YouTube interview filmed before the Grahamstown run.

"It's also named Heavy because I'm fat and because if I do another one-man show in the future I won't have to struggle with a new name. I can just call it Heavier or Heaviest."

Observing Mokgadi's manner and peculiarities while he is on stage, it is not difficult to see why he's often compared to a young Bill Cosby. Dressed in a black suit and tie, his style of presenting comes across as minimal and laid back. Observational statements will often be followed up with incredulous facial expressions while eyeballing a laughing audience.

"I've got the sex appeal of a South African policewoman," he tells us with regards to his weight at one point, adding that he's sometimes also referred to as the black Barry Ronge. "Do you think I've got any problem areas to work on? …

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