Daliso Chaponda (4 stars)

This article is from 2009.

Daliso Chaponda

An unpreachy hour relating abuse and misery

It’s pretty routine for comedians from elsewhere in the world working on the UK circuit to crack jokes based on the differences between their culture and ours. The vast majority of those acts are from Australia and Canada and, let’s face it, the differences aren’t that marked. So when Daliso Chaponda moved first to Canada then Britain from his native Malawi, it was a canny move for an aspiring comedian.

But An African Perspective: Westerners Calm Down! is not just a spot the difference between African ways and the West. Chaponda’s policy is not to get in a panic but instead see the funny side of the depressing aspects of life whether it be his family secret, the abuse he suffered as a child or the ex-girlfriend he clearly still cares for. The result isn’t some over-indulgent wallow in self-pity but a sharp, close to the bone 55 minutes that includes an incisive world view. There’s little point in worrying about a recession when it doesn’t warrant getting UNICEF involved and fretting about your weight when in Africa, rolls of belly fat are trophies to be proud of. His amiable style ensures it’s not preachy, instead uplifting, and above all, simply funny.

The Lot, 225 9922, until 31 Aug, 7pm, £5.

African Perspective: Westerners Calm Down!

  • 4 stars

A financial crisis, terrorism, obesity. Stop panicking. Dalisoaims to calm Westerners down. This is not a crisis, ask Zimbabwe! A new show from the writer of 'Don't Let Them Deport Me'.

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