Daliso Chaponda has lived in countries where the press is not allowed to criticize the government, and in others with no libel laws where they can say anything. He has been both a journalist and a jaded newsreader. He is the perfect comedian to discuss what the media has become, which he does in his hilarious new show ‘What African Said…’. The show is about recent news, old news, fake news, and stories that were never quite but was ALMOST news. It is also a show about the things we say to each other; gossip, tall stories and of course declarations of love.
His father was a refugee who became a diplomat and he, therefore, grew up bouncing from country to country. He always wanted to be a novelist, but his family pressured him to study programming and he ended up at University in Canada. During this time he wrote funny science fiction that occasionally got published. He had never seen stand up comedy until he went to Montreal Just for Laughs. There was no comedy circuit in Malawi so he eventually moved to the UK and started performing with at open mic nights that let to circuit gigs.
A few years ago he did his first ever comedy show in Malawi, which became a massive success, and after that he started to be booked on big African shows. Then, just as he thought of moving back to Malawi and becoming the Malawi McIntyre, he did jokes about the Malawi President and his own father (who was the cabinet minister). This received a huge amount of media attention and the Malawi censorship board threatened to arrest him. This is not the only time his humour got him into trouble. Doing pro-homosexuality material in response to gay men being arrested and criticizing a Zimbabwean prophet got him a lot of hate mail! This made him realise that he wanted to keep doing edgy comedy material but in no way could he move back home to Malawi!
Daliso has appeared at many festivals that have included Melbourne, Edinburgh, Singapore and Cape Town Festivals. He is also a prolific fiction writer and has had his science fiction, murder mysteries and fantasy fiction published in numerous magazines and anthologies. He also he co-wrote a play recently that aired on BBC Radio 4.
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