Updated: May 22, 2019

In partnership with Savanna Premium Cider, Chatz Connect, Kaya FM 95.9 and Channel24

What happens when you put a bunch of eager, enthusiastic and (hopefully) funny new comedians on a stage in front of an expectant audience of hundreds? You get a comedy showcase like no other in the country!

Last night the Savanna Newcomer Showcase was held at the Soweto Theatre in Johannesburg, where 24 of this year’s newcomer comedians had the stage and the spotlight for five minutes each. Their job? To get the crowd laughing, hooting and clapping for them, and to show the comedy industry just how funny they are.

Hosted by long standing comedy partner, Savanna Premium Cider, and the Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards, the Showcase was for many of the newcomers their first chance to perform to a large live audience – and a way to test out their material. And while some of the jokes didn’t quite land, many of the comedians had the crowd up on their feet clapping and cheering when their five minutes was up.

Keeping time and keeping the pace up was host Tsitsi Chiumya, who went on to win 2018’s Savanna Newcomer of the Year Award. It was clear again last night why he’s a funny man on the up.

More than half of the comedians performed entirely in vernac, a growing trend in SA comedy. “It’s encouraging to see the amount of vernac comedy that was performed at the Showcase,” says Lazola Dali, Savanna SA Brand Execution Manager. “Savanna is committed to showcasing comedians across all of the country’s languages, and to see the audience respond so enthusiastically to iXhosa, isiZulu and other comedy is exciting.”

The comedians came from all parts of the country, showing the length and breadth of comedy talent the country has to offer. A big shout-out to everyone who performed (in no particular order):

Leah Jazz

Mfundo Mhlongo

Cyril Basker

Sandile Blackheart

Molaba Mkhulu

Ludwe Obiya

Liyabona Dyulethe

Sir Jovial

Emilio Tobias

Masibonge Mndende

Bradley van Wyk

Byron Davel

Ian Young

Robyn Dunlop

Kgomotso Kgatle

Itumeleng Adolf Mohale

Waylene Beukes

Khaya Mdaka

Reagen Allen

Ismail Moses

Eugene Vanacore

Linde Sibanda

Chomi Ya Jeso


It’s now up to the comedy industry to vote, and ultimately decide, who will be nominated and come out tops as this year’s Savanna Newcomer of the Year.

The nominees across all 12 categories will be announced at a Press on Wednesday 10 July 2019 in Johannesburg.

The 9th Annual South African Comics’ Choice Awards takes place on Saturday 7 September 2019 at The Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City. Visit for more information and to buy tickets.

No under 16’s. Alcohol not for sale to persons under the age of 18.