At first glance, Lihle Lindzy Msimang seems like an anomaly. Sure, she’s not the only woman kicking butt and taking names on stand-up comedy stages all over the country, but she is also at the forefront of the burgeoning Christian comedy community.
A strange subculture to have within stand-up comedy to begin with because, let’s face it, your favourite gag in the world isn’t something you could retell at church is it? Just me? Okay, then.
“I was known as the first lady of Christian comedy,” Msimang tells me in between bites of her lunch, “because I was used to being the only female on stage. I don’t swear at all on stage and Christians do a lot more family-friendly comedy.”
The newcomer to the funny business – with just three years of professional comedy under her belt – has also been labelled the Princess of South African Comedy.
A very busy princess.
In addition to performing alongside the likes of Kedibone Mulaudzi and touring with Loyiso Gola, Msimang is one of three new faces on the fifth season of Mzansi Magic’s Laugh Out Loud (aka LOL). Helping Kenny Kunene out with presenting duties is Msimang and two new forces to be reckoned with in the stand-up world, Tol A$$ Mo and Siya B.
“Being on set with the new guys is crazy,” she chuckles, “especially with Tol A$$ Mo there. Sitting in the make-up chair is always fun when they’re around because it feels more like a hobby and not an actual job. What drew me to Laugh Out Loud was that it had a different vibe and flavour as they used to mix sketches with pranks and stand-up comedy.”
The new-look season of the show has even added a segment called Mo’News hosted by Tol A$$ Mo. Msimang holds her own though. Just like she did when she emerged victorious in the Graça Comedy Heats which saw her perform alongside the likes of Pablo Francisco in last year’s Nando’s Comedy Festival.
“That was really fantastic because I was competing against guys who have been doing stand-up for like three years,” she says, “and the judges were American so it’s nice to see that my comedy is universal.”
Having studied film after high school, starred in a number of television adverts, the film Triple O and featured on Kagiso Lediga’s The Opening Guys, it’s plain to see that Msimang doesn’t shrivel up and wilt in front of the camera.