Local comedian offers much-needed comedic relief after a month of increased incidences of gender-based violence and xenophobia across the country.

Wits alumnus and local stand-up comedian Simmi Areff performed his new one-man show ‘Love and Other Jokes’ in Johannesburg on Friday, September 27, where he shared snippets of his whimsical, and at times often bitter, love life.

Areff took to the stage in front of an intimate crowd of about 50 guests at the Auto & General Theatre on the Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton City, providing an hour-and-a half of unscripted hilarity about the ups-and-downs of love.

Instead of telling scripted and rehearsed jokes, the 31-year-old attempted to create an open and comfortable atmosphere with his audience, randomly venturing off-script to include the guests’ own tales of love.

Nicole and Nick, a young couple who were caught off-guard when Areff called on them mid-kiss, shyly told the audience about their two-month old relationship. They had met at gym and it was love at first bench-press.

The resulting experience was one of comedy and camaraderie as the audience heard about each other’s romantic escapades, facilitated by the ever-so-funny Areff who moonlights as a love doctor accompanied by personal pianist Jaedon Daniel.

Daniel provided a melodic backdrop to Areff’s experiences “from the streets of dating people”.

“I’m old now. I have enough of these stories – and enough funny ones – to tell,” Areff told Wits Vuvuzela.

Areff seemingly had all the answers about love’s awkward and heartbreaking moments, which he also explores through poetry.

“So keep your receipts of your kindness and care/Because curly-haired girls can hurt you or even worse/Straighten their hair,” narrated Areff.

The proceeds from Areff’s shows will go to a women and youth-led, non-profit organisation Femme Project, that facilitate informative workshops about sexual and reproductive health.


FEATURED IMAGE: A poster advertising Simmi Areff’s new one-man comedy show, ‘Love and Other Jokes’. Photo: Provided