Lihle took some time out of her busy schedule to chat to me about her upcoming one-woman show ‘Matemtem’, as she closes the One Night Stands Comedy Festival, that’s been taking place from 31 July-10 Aug. She’ll be shutting it down on Aug 10th at the Theatre on the Square in Sandton (tickets are still available at computicket at just R150). Here’s what went down, hold onto your seats!
10 nights of comedy that don’t involve the walk of shame!
Who is Lihle and how on earth did she get into comedy? And more so, how did you convince your parents that this was a viable career choice? Was winning the 2011 Nandos comedy showdown your portal into the industry?
Lihle Msimang is just a woman born and raised in Meadowlands, Soweto. Like many kids in the township, I was sent to “suburban” schools which allowed me to see a different side to life and different cultures. Convincing my parents to see comedy as a viable career choice was difficult because they wanted me to be a tennis player (which I was good at). The Nando’s Comedy Showdown was a great portal because not only did it expose me to the right people in the industry (such as David Kau) but, most importantly, it was the one thing that helped convince my parents about comedy. So Thanks Nando’s, please don’t Bujy me, assomblief.
How are you finding the transition to motherhood and how is it affecting your work/life balance, if that’s even a thing for you?
These little humans have energy and no concept of sleep, lol. Not sure what happens where children come from (aka baby heaven) for them to hate sleep so much. So I’ve had to learn how to sleep awake, sleep work, sleep perform, sleep social, basically sleep everything. But this lack of sleep has been the biggest blessing, I’ve found myself being more strategic about what I do because I’m now thinking of things like legacy and building another person’s future, doing things with more of an aim, as opposed to before where everything was party hardy.
Still on motherhood, what do you know now that you wish someone had told you? How did you prepare for the change, and what has been your ultimate “oh crap” moment? Oh, and give us tips on your got back into the game!
Children know that they can get away with anything because they are cute, DO NOT FALL FOR THE CUTE! My son Motheo, is busy trying to type right now, crying that I’m not allowing him. Okay wait here’s a message from him: “koahweubfaodur9djnga’e apojdhfyawe]akwjsu #dmsed•67as” See I fell for the cute :’(
Honestly getting back was a no brainer for me, won’t lie and say it was easy, but the cry for being back on the stage, back to the writing is what pulled me back. Sometimes all it takes to get back is the love of what you do. And the thought of you never being ‘all you can for your child freak out’ kind of helped.
Hubby and I first saw you at ‘Blacks Only Comedy Show’, and girl we were in stitches because we know the struggle of a new ceiling lol! How much of your experiences shape your comedy? And what exactly is Matemtem?
My life experiences shape a lot of my comedy, simply because I realized that people experiences are very similar, even though what I’m talking about exactly is not what happened to you, but it reminds you of something else that’s similar. Makes you feel like you’re not alone.
Matemtem is a nickname my mom gave me, you know that one name every mother uses when they want to bribe their children to do something mundane like making tea or getting a remote 2 feet away? Yes Matemtem was that for me, it partly comes from my full name which is Thembelihle and partly from the kind of child I was, constantly talking, complaining and repeating myself (hence the “tem” twice).
What’s your favourite thing to do just to get some downtime?
I honestly love taking a long walk on the beach, but since I’m from Joburg and one has to travel to the beach, I just take a warm bath with a glass of wine (glass meaning bottle).
Ereng one-woman show mo ngwaneng?! What can we expect from your upcoming show and any projects you have in the pipeline?
Ere “Ke Nevous Bontshwa!” The show will be happening 10 August, at Theatre on the Square in Sandton, as part of the Goliath and Goliath One Night Stand festival. People can expect to laugh at what makes us old! People born in the 80’s we think we’re still young, I’m here to help everyone realise that we’re really not, we’re the adults now, the drunks malumes and the aunties. Using my upbringing, I want people to laugh at and celebrate where we come from and how we’re raised.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to hear what she has to offer come Saturday. I hope to see you guys there, but you know I’ll be giving you the 411 on social throughout the night so make sure you’re following me on Twitter and Instagram at @BlackLionessSA. Mwah!