If you ask who the most famous South African comedian in the world is, most people would be able to easily answer – Trevor Noah.
If you spoke of the most successful comedian ever to come out of South Africa, the Grammy-nominated, Daily Show hosting Noah would once again come up.
But is he the funniest comedian in South Africa? Not everyone on Twitter thinks so.
According to social media, another contender for SA’s funniest comedian is Mashabela Galane, sometimes just known as Mashabela. He does his comedy exclusively in Sepedi and is a massive star in his home province of Limpopo.
Both comedians were trending on Twitter on Saturday due to a debate started by Twitter user New South Africa (@DJNewSouthAfric).
“Mashabela is SA’s greatest comedian. He’s naturally gifted. His strict use of vernac limited his career moves. He’s funnier than even Trevor Noah. Trevor isn’t really funny, he’s smart [and] has a good sense of humor that’s HEAVILY dependent on accents, multilingual phrases [and] sarcasm,” she tweeted.
In another tweet, she added:
“You can’t compare Mashabela with Trevor Noah. YOU CANT! 1) Trevor Noah isn’t funny. He even laughs at his “own” jokes. 2) He steals jokes. He stole Mashabela’s joke about women removing [and] redrawing eyebrows and translated it into English. 3) He repeats jokes on his stand ups”.
Noah has been accused of joke theft several times, and has consistently denied ever having stolen any material.
The Twitter user certainly started something with her tweets, as many have now weighed in on either side of the debate.
Some have expressed the opinion that Mashabela is lucky to even be compared to Noah and is not on the same level.
Others, however, think the local Limpopo-based comic is the best to ever do it in SA.
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)