James Nokise: Talk A Big Game
- Claire Sawers
- 23 August 2018
This article is from 2018
A sports-heavy set from a liberal feminist Kiwi
James Nokise is a woke bloke from New Zealand, of Samoan descent. The blokey side means he's got a lot of material about sport; he's got stuff about the All Blacks doing the haka for example, or how weird it must be to become a gold medal Olympian just for being the 'sweepy guy' at the curling, and how fierce women netballers can be. Then he's also got stuff about football, tennis and golf. And basketball, cricket and cycling … if Sports & Leisure is the round of Trivial Pursuit you're worst at, a lot of this will be over your head.
But the woke side is a much more interesting one; he loves that Serena Williams (again with the sport!) has been a Wimbledon champion ('that's one of the whitest places in the world!' he screams), and he loved it when Dennis Rodman challenged the NBA's homophobia by showing up once in a wedding dress.
Nokise's background as a person of colour gives him an interesting, liberal, sympathetic slant on tons of things, like nasty colonisers around the world, getting hassle at customs, or other people who are tagged with the wrong ethnicity. His habit of 'checking his masculinity' (he saves a fiver by not buying the special Nivea For Men lotion) is a nice twist to what could otherwise come over as a dull, macho set.
Instead he tells stories of showing solidarity to Glasgow comedian Janey Godley when he joined her recently at Turnberry to protest Trump's visit, or why it's a disgrace that women in sports aren't paid the same as men (that sports angle is never far away). A refreshing voice, and a hoot when he slips into his Aussie / Maori / Latino accents, just brace yourself for a heap of sports banter.
The Stand 4, until 26 Aug, 8.15pm, £10 (£8).