Meet SA’s Loyiso Gola, the First African Comedian to Have a Full Solo Hour Stand-Up Comedy on Netflix with Unlearning

“Unlearning” is now on Netflix and you do not want to miss it.

In 2018, Loyiso Gola made his Netflix debut alongside other South African comedians Tumi Morake, Loyiso Madinga, and Riaad Moosa in the streaming platform’s “Comedians of the World” series. Now, he is making history as the first African comedian to have a full solo hour stand-up comedy on Netflix.

In the comedy show, Loyiso explores his own experience of maturity and masculinity during apartheid in South Africa.

Gola, who was born in the Cape Town township of Gugulethu, discovered his talent for comedy when he was 17 and has been at it for 20 years.

“This show is by the far the coolest one… I feel this show is a reward for working for 20 years. If this show didn’t exist, I would have had to find another way to celebrate such a massive career milestone. This is my reward, I worked with my friends and I feel like we created a really great show,” he says of his career highlights.

He chose the title “Unlearning” to convey the message that everyone should examine what they know and what they’ve learned over time, “rather than accepting the norm, we could question and evaluate what we are taught.”

Generally, I feel that humans find it difficult to unlearn certain habits, traits and experiences that they have picked up throughout their lives, and so I feel like it’s a journey to unlearn how we deal with or approach certain things.

The special premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017 and has since played at the MICF, London’s Soho Theatre, Grahamstown, and New York’s Soho Playhouse. Loyiso then took it to his hometown of Cape Town, where it was shot in front of a live audience at the Zeitz Mocaa, adhering to strict COVID-19 protocols.

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