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You don’t have to have everything figured out only because everyone around you has managed to do so. When people have made plans and are clued up on how to go about things, be glad that they have and learn from them. Take the opportunity to observe their winning streak and learn from the unfortunate mishaps. When you’re confident and prepared to take your own path, go about it in an unusual way. The manner in which you choose to expose your talents to the world says a lot about you and your tenacity to achieve your untamed dreams. Get people talking and compel them to recognise that you’re different. Be stubborn about your dreams, be attractively stubborn to succeed.
No two people can be the same nor can they follow the same fate.

Taking pride in one’s creative madness and recognising how to sell it to everyone else is a talent on its own. When we fall in love with our own habits and how we make others feel about themselves – we feed off the smiles and the sound of genuine laughter and in return, turn that joy into our own. To make a living out of people’s appreciation for happiness and gags is a sure way to recognise that hey, I might just be funny. Lazola Gola, is incredibly hilarious, no doubt. His outlook and the peculiar observation he has about life and how he feels drawn to certain things – surpasses other things that another person may take for granted. He lives in his moment and makes it his own, and then shares it with those who seek inspiration.

He was a little unnerved by the list of questions I had before me. I reassured him that there was no need for that, as he was almost ready to start praying. He calmed down and revealed his creative comedic genius and simply revelled. “I went to Waldorf School in Cape Town. I was naughty and a class clown really. It was the best part of school because I’d go to school to meet my friends and we’d just make nonsense. It got us into a lot of trouble and my mom wasn’t very happy about my behaviour. Academically, I did well and that was a redeeming quality. I also got into skateboarding and it counted as being creative when we’d figure out where to skate and how to make combinations. Most of the friends I went to school with are in creative fields and they are pretty creative. They live all over the world.” Surprisingly, Lazola doesn’t read much fantasy or fiction books. “I don’t like fiction and I don’t know why but I do like non-fiction. It’s pretty weird because I like making up things. I like biographies, like those self-help books and especially autobiographies. I learn the most from those.”

Growing up with his successful and incredibly gifted comedian brother, Loyiso Gola, was an experience he can’t compare to any other. “I can’t really compare because I never had any other brother who wasn’t Loyiso Gola. However, he definitely influenced my career choice, especially at the beginning. When I was young, I used to go watch him perform at different comedy shows just to check it out. I used to write a lot of jokes and then send them to him and ask him if they were funny or not. I came to visit him once when he was on The Pure Monate Show and I got to meet a bunch of other crazy talented comedians. That’s when I realised that this could be done.”
“The thing about comedy is that you don’t need anyone to tell you if your joke is terrible or not, the audience tells you straight away. You can’t trick yourself into thinking it is a really good joke, if the audience doesn’t think it is. The best barometer is the audience. So if anyone puts you down before the audience it makes no sense because they don’t even know it. They may suggest on how to deliver or say the joke but the audience gives you a direct report because you can’t fool them. It’s an autonomous thing that makes you humble and truthful.”

Lazola moved to Johannesburg in 2007 to study at the University of Witswatersrand for a BCom Economics and Marketing degree but dropped out in second year. “I wasn’t feeling the finance part of the course because it took the fun out of maths. It was weird because I could feel that it wasn’t what I wanted to do because I was doing stand-up comedy on the side at the time. I didn’t really prioritise my studies and I dropped out because my marks were horrible. I didn’t care and I decided to do as much stand-up comedy as I could. If anyone gave me a gig I was there, studying or no studying. Even if I hadn’t said it out loud, it showed in my marks and attitude. People I knew somehow had their lives planned out and I hadn’t even thought about what I wanted to do after completing my degree.”

“I’ve always wanted to be a writer, as it was my favourite part of the whole process. It’s almost like figuring out a puzzle and putting it in a way that’s tangible and palatable for people to understand. Performing on stage came second. I got an opportunity to write for Late Night News for a couple of seasons which got us an Emmy nomination. I had another opportunity to work as a copywriter for Draft FCB and thereafter went to Ogilvy. I also wrote for Jozi A-listers on Vuzu which was weird and frustrating because your words are never final. I had to let go of the ego even when I thought I had written the best script ever. The good side was that we could take crazy situations and make them hyperbolic. There’s always room for new comedians to come in. Someone’s success doesn’t mean it takes away from your success. In comedy, you can have two funny people and you don’t have to rank them. I’d rather have a hundred people I find funny than only five. The more the better and the bigger the industry will get and the more people will push each other.”

Lazola hardly worries about offending or making enemies when he writes and performs, especially when the audience understand and laughs at his jokes. “I do and I don’t worry about offending anyone when I’m making a joke. I make the choice on how to say it. Once the joke is out there and I’ve said it on stage and the audience gets the joke then I don’t care if someone finds it offensive. I do care as I don’t want to offend them, as it’s not my intention to do it on purpose. People sometimes hear what they want to hear. When I’m performing, my mood doesn’t really affect the writing but it does affect the performance. I’m usually in a good wacky mood when I write material and I write most of it just before I go to sleep, when I’m relaxed and calm. Sometimes, I wake up at night and think of a joke and the best thing I do is write it down because I would’ve completely forgotten about it in the morning.” Lazola has no limits as to what he wants to achieve next. “I want to do everything. I want to sell out one-man shows and be known globally. 

I’d also like to travel and have my own show where I can have complete creative freedom. And there’s still a lot more to achieve the further along I go. These dreams are crazy enough and they are achievable.” Currently, he’s just finished shooting a pilot episode of a sketch show he’s working on with some of the comedians who were a part of the Pure Monate Show. The show will air later in the year. The eccentric and talented comedian finds it hard to describe himself and hardly takes over a room. He’s rather observant, loose and different from the norm. He’s stimulating and insightful, so he’s Provocative, and a funny, funny man.

“Art is creating something that wasn’t there for the people. It is taking an idea that’s different and making it relatable. It’s an observation in this world that is out of this world.” – Lazola Gola

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