Home grown comedian Anasia Govender dons the pseudonym Annalakshmi on stage as she represents women in the world of comedy. With a unique style, she pushes the boundaries with her fresh take on comedy. Recently The Westville Weekly Gazette sat down with Anasia for a chat about life, comedy and the lady behind the microphone.
TWWG: How long have you been a comedian and how many shows have you performed?
AG: I started doing comedy in April 2015. I must have done over 100 shows.
TWWG: What first drew you to comedy?
AG: My journey into comedy was accidental, actually, I was an MC at an event that required me to entertain guests during costume changes and I was meant to sing but had forgotten my backing tracks so I started improvising and had them rolling in the aisles.
TWWG: What do you love about comedy?
AG: Just putting a smile on someone’s face or having them forget their troubles for a while and getting lost in laughter. It’s intrinsic rewards far outweigh the monetary. I love spreading my love and light through laughter, but the money is most welcome.
TWWG: What challenges or obstacles did you face when getting into comedy?
AG: Finding material that different people from various walks of life can relate to. Being funny when you’re feeling blue is challenging. Also being different and setting yourself apart from the norm.
TWWG: Do you have any advice for aspiring comedians?
AG: Stay true to yourself. Develop your own style and be confident. Also, sounds clichéd but practice does make perfect.
TWWG: Do you think comedy can be used to change negative social perceptions about race, gender and stereotypes?
AG: Absolutely. I love sneaking some food for thought into my parodies or asking questions that leave one pondering.
TWWG: What inspires your material for comedy shows?
AG: I have an alter ego, Annalakshmi, who has taken refuge in SA to escape her ‘monster-in-law’ and I sing parodies, so, my process is falling in love with a song and then relating it to a situation and then my creativity just flows.
TWWG: What makes or breaks a comedy show-are there any do’s or dont’s?
AG: A good comedy show should have variety but should not be too long. Rather leave your audience wanting more than going over your time.
TWWG: Describe your sense of humour.
AG: Indian refugee alter ego that sings and gives her very candid commentary about life in SA. I am very dramatic and expressive.
TWWG: What is your dream or goal as a comedian?
AG: To get as many opportunities as possible to bring joy into people’s lives through my unique style of comedy whilst getting paid handsomely for following my purpose with passion and seeing the world at the same time.
TWWG: Are there any comedians that you look up to or admire?
AG: Definitely. Trevor Noah, Loyiso Gola, Carvin Goldstone are outstanding examples of where hard work, persistence and dedication can get you.
TWWG: Do comedians have a level of responsibility when it comes to writing jokes?
AG: I take my responsibility as an entertainer very seriously, but these are standards I’ve set for myself that resonate with my value system. People pay to watch you and they deserve respect. A classy comedian does not resort to insulting people.
TWWG: What do you hope to achieve through comedy?
AG: Just to contribute to spreading laughter to the world. We all need it.
TWWG: What would you do if you were not a comedian?
AG: I’d be an actress.
Complete the sentence:
My perfect holiday would be… Two weeks in the Greek Isles
My favourite meal is… pizza
The perfect date is… tapas picnic under a tree on a hill in Athens.
Formal wear or casual wear? PJ’s all the way
Club or pub? Pub