Recognized today as one of the country’s pioneering black comedians in the country & given his invaluable contribution to local comedy, Kagiso Lediga has certainly earned his right to be called a South African comedy legend. For over a decade – this multi talented comedian has entertained audiences in the live space, on the small screen, on the big screen and also now from behind the screen producing some of the most groundbreaking comedy content this country has ever seen. He is a natural storyteller with an enigmatic comedy style that blends schoolboy charm with creative genius, sharp intelligence & wit. However, if there was a SA Comedy Hall of Fame – it is his achievements thus far that would entrench his position there.
Kagiso Lediga ventured into comedy while studying at the University of Cape Town 15 years ago and over the ensuing years set about establishing himself as one of South Africa’s top comedians. Not only is now lauded amongst the best comedians in the country with an impressive body of work behind him but is also now celebrated as one of South Africa’s pioneering and most recognizable black comedians
His talent and ability can easily be confirmed by an exhaustive trail of achievements and accolades. Testament of this is the fact that he has graced the stages of all the top comedy events in South Africa including the most prestigious one in the Cape Town International Comedy Festival where he won the People’s Choice Award in the company of acclaimed comedians from all over the world. Other comedy events he has performed at are Bafunny Bafunny, Nandos Comedy Festival, Heavyweight Comedy Jams, Blacks Only, Pure Monate Comedy Jam, Let Durban Laugh Festival….the list is endless.
He has also entertained corporate crowds all over the country with his refreshingly intelligent and thought provoking brand of comedy, a list boasting a wide spectrum of companies from various sectors of the economy. He has performed in various countries such as the USA, Scotland, England, Canada, Finland, Jamaica, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana and Mauritius. His talents can be further confirmed by the fact that he was invited to the internationally renowned Edinburgh Comedy Festival as well as famous comedy clubs in New York and Toronto – Carolines and Yuks Yuks respectively. His ability to adapt his material according to his audiences but leave them in raptures has always been a strong feature of his repertoire wherever he performs.
In 2012 he performed his first ever one man show aptly entitled – “Kagiso Lediga – In A Suit”. It was an amalgamation of his best work from over a decade of performing and current material relevant to the times. A tour de force – it sold out houses in Johannesburg, Durban and Soweto. A dvd of this show will be available later on in 2013.
He also has a flair for writing, producing & directing brave and entertaining content. Over the years, he has been the brains behind content that has shaken up the South African tv & film industry. This was first evident when he took on a job as the Creative Director on the groundbreaking Phat Joe. Thereafter, the sketch comedy series the Pure Monate Show which he produced, wrote and performed in was voted in the top 5 most entertaining local programmes on SABC 1 for 2004 as well as being nominated in 8 categories of the South African Film and Television Awards. As the anchor of the show, he fast became a household TV personality nationwide and is now recognized wherever he performs. He went on to play roles on various other tv shows such as Sorted and Hard Copy.
After the producing the Pure Monate Show – Kagiso together with co-executive producer Loyiso Gola – put together the satirical news show – Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola on etv & the eNews Channel. 2 years later – this show can only be described as a groundbreaking success with Kagiso now also directing the show. Testament to that, it was recently nominated for an International Emmy Award – there is no greater honour in television worldwide…a truly remarkable achievement.
His successful foray in TV led to Kagiso’s involvement in films. He has acted in numerous titles but it is with a movie called Bunny Chow which he produced and was the lead that he found himself in the headlines. This movie which opened at box offices both locally and internationally, became a cult hit because of its honest depiction of the new South Africa. It went on to be screened at the Toronto Film Festival, American Film Institute Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival and Rotterdam Film Festivals. It was also the opening film at our very own Cape Town International Film Festival where Kagiso’s inspired performance saw him being awarded with the “Best Actor Award”. Such was the impact of the film that MTV Films Europe put pen to paper to be the global marketing partner of the film. He was also cast in various roles in local movies such as Crazy Monkey, Footskating, Big Fellas – as well as international movies like acclaimed Hollywood director Phillip Noyce’s Max & Martha where Kagiso acted alongside Oscar award winning actress Hilary Swank. He also had a cameo in Hollywood blockbuster – District 9.
2012 also saw Kagiso produce his second feature film – a buddy cop movie called Blitz Patrollie featuring a line up of some of South Africa’s most celebrated comedians. With all star cast that included David Kau, Joey Rasdien, Chris Forrest, David Kibuuka, Mel Miller, Tats Nkonzo, Tol A$$ Mo, Roni Modilmola – the movie made serious waves on the local cinema circuit. While at the Cannes Film Festival Market 2013 – it was picked for international distribution by German sales agents Picture Tree International. It is very possible that audiences around the world may get to see Blitz Patrollie as a result. Although he was the Writer & Executive Producer, Kagiso also played a hilarious character in the movie.
In 2013, Kagiso Lediga is recognized as one of the country’s headlining comedy and screen acts. If there was a SA Comedy Hall of Fame – it is his achievements thus far that would entrench his position there.