Let’s face it: we all love a good laugh. And who better to have our ribs cracking than Africa’s very own Trevor Noah? The award-winning comedian grew up during the apartheid regime in South Africa with a Swiss-German father and a South African Xhosa mother and the discrimination he went through because of his mixed heritage forms a running theme in his comedy sets. He has also appeared on American late night talk shows like The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Show with David Letterman.
The South African satirist is scaling greater and greater heights every day, having recently been announced as Jon Stewart’s successor on the prime time TV show, The Daily Show. But who is the man behind the ‘funny’? Here are ten things to know about this rising star.
Before fame: Before the 31 year old comedian became widely known as a comedian, he already had a few stints with showbiz under his belt. Most interestingly, he starred in a South African soap opera called Isidingo in 2002 when he was 18 and hosted the self-titled Tonight with Trevor Noah which aired on the MNet channel on DStv; he was clearly made for the big screen.
Brands: In 2010, Noah became a spokesperson and consumer protection agent for Cell C, South Africa’s third largest cellular provider.
Personal life: Until not too long ago, Noah had a steady relationship with South African beauty Dani Gabriel but the duo split up because of Trevor’s relocation to the US. Dani is a successful physiotherapist and has lots of family in South Africa that she would not be willing to move so far away from. I wonder, who will next catch this rising star’s eye?
Biography: Township to the Stage is an award-winning tale of Noah’s remarkable career in post-apartheid South Africa.
Record breaker: Between December 2012 and January 2013, Noah performed his show at London’s Soho Theatre. The six-week run of this show is the best-selling comedy show in the Soho Theatre’s history. Noah has also written and produced and starred in a few TV specials such as The Daywalker (2009), Crazy Normal (2011), That’s Racist (2012) and African American (2013) selling more DVDs than any other stand-up comedian in the African continent.
Great Associations: The master satirist has opened for and performed shows with acclaimed comedians like Gabriel Iglesias, Carl Barron, Dan Illic, Paul Zerdin and Paul Rodriguez.
Languages: Trevor Noah is a polyglot, speaking several languages including English, German, Xhosa, isiZulu, Sotho and Afrikaans. That’s more languages than the Pope can speak!
Influences: Noah lists comedians such as Chris Rock, Dave Chapelle, Bill Cosby, Eddie Murphy and Jon Stewart as some of the men he looks up to in his professional career.
Skeletons in the closet: Back in 2009, Noah’s step-father, Abel Shingange, attacked and shot his mother in the head, leaving her for dead then tried to hunt for Noah but couldn’t find him. Noah is over the incident in which he narrowly escaped death and even recounts the story humorously during some of his stand-up shows.
Secret Talents: Aside from being a very successful comedian that has his audiences in stitches, Noah also has other gifts. South Africa has its own version of Dancing with the Stars called Strictly Come Dancing and Trevor, keeping true to the African spirit of dance, came in second place during the 2008 season. He is also a DJ! What can’t this man do?
Nothing, it seems. This funny man is putting Africa on the map! And though Noah has received a lot of backlash about his promotion to the Daily Show, especially in regards to some tweets he made in the past, we at the Inspire Afrika team wish this budding showbiz extraordinaire all the best as he kicks off this life-changing experience.
Photo credits: Internet