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Prankster and comedian Lihle Msimang's a bag of laughs

I knew I would easily be forgiven for thinking that some cleverly concocted joke was waiting to be unleashed on me when meeting with fearless prankster and comedian Lihle "Lindzy" Msimang.

Pranking unsuspecting citizens on the streets of South Africa on the weekly MTV show You Got Gotis what the 26-year-old does for a living.
Having won the 2011 Nando's Comedy Festival after featuring as one of Elle magazine's 2013 Top 5 female comedians in a list that included Ellen DeGeneres, Lihle can be considered the princess of South African comedy. Period.
Now five years into the funny business, having shared stages with international acts the likes of Mark Curry of Hanging with Mr. Cooper fame and Pablo Francisco, her dream of performing at the Montreal Comedy Festival is quite realistic.
Her nationwide comedy club tour featuring local acts kicked off this month, and being the latest face behind Cadbury's new 5 Star chocolate TV ad has only sweetened the deal.
Heading up the prank show You Got Got, alongside comedian TolA$$Mo, she describes their working relationship as "beautifully tiring".
"We spend so much time talking nonsense," she laughs.
"But it brings about ideas. He inspires and helps me to not take myself too seriously.
"At first, when we started out, we wanted to see if we could pull it off. Now people seem to love the show. South Africa's friendly. I guess we wouldn't know we could prank South Africans if it wasn't for Leon Schuster, who helped us understand what a prank was."
But Lihle admits there have been times when a gag has not been well-received.
"A guy once tried to grab me by my neck. But we can't show that, considering women abuse issues."
Open to doing just about anything for a laugh, Lihle shares that she has limits too, and draws the line at nudity and making out with a stranger.
From playing an obnoxious club owner blocking entry to guests because of an ugly top, to getting lost in Cape Town asking for directions while setting her twins free and taking her bra off mid-conversation, Lihle pulls off her pranks with conviction.
She fully commits to her given character, seeing the gag through with perfection until she reveals her cause to the unsuspecting victim, ending in an eruption of laughter.
You're not a real comedian if you're not an actor as well, and it's evident that she doesn't shy away from the camera.
Her degree in performance arts and filmmaking helped her star in and edit the movie Triple O, and feature on Kagiso Lediga's The Opening Guys.
The prankster even appeared as a nyaope addict on Zabalaza, her most challenging role to date.
"I try to find something familiar to the character that I'm playing," Lihle says.
"Of course, the nyaope role was difficult as there were no similarities there."
Lihle let slip that she is also working on something funny for VUZU, but cannot divulge too much just yet.
Growing up in Meadowlands, Soweto, the comedian uses her upbringing and observations about life to entertain her audiences.
Lihle's mom is the reason behind her funny bone, although her dad disagrees.
"My mom's always been able to make light of things and turn a bad situation around."
She recalls how her childhood allowed for dreaming.
"We didn't have much to play with back then, unlike today's kids. There was no chasing of Pokémon," Lihle says.
"It was about playing with bricks and the cardboards you found lying around and making something to play with. It allowed for you to dream.
"My parents are ex-comrades and they hustled their way to put me in a Jewish school, which exposed me to diverse cultures.
"They needed me to aspire to something outside the township, to see suburban schools and not just the shacks. The reason there's racism is because people don't understand each other. I'm hoping to bridge that gap."
Source: sundayworld
Khabza Mkhize

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