Comedian Daliso Chaponda reflects on 22 years of comedy in new show

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In his brand-new show, Malawian comedian Daliso Chaponda looks back on over two decades in the comedy world and how his perspectives have evolved.

Chaponda, now 43, made his solo debut in 2002 with 'Feed This Black Man' in Canada, a show that tackled negative stereotypes about Africans and poverty.

"The jokes were mediocre, it included an offensive rap about poverty and the big finale was his eating a sandwich on stage," Chaponda jokes about that early effort.

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Flash forward 22 years, and Chaponda has achieved remarkable success, with highlights including performing on the Royal Variety Show, writing and starring in the Radio 4 series 'Citizen of Nowhere' which earned a Rose d'Or nomination, and being a finalist on Britain's Got Talent.

Daliso Chaponda.Daliso Chaponda.
Daliso Chaponda.

In the new show, Chaponda ponders how a 21-year-old version of himself would view the person he has become. "He would have loved the fact he had made a living as a comedian, but less so the fact he has no wife or kids," Chaponda muses. He also humorously recounts his "weird relationships" over the years with girlfriends including "a stripper, a single mother and an ex who was a compulsive liar."

The show explores how Chaponda's idealistic, activist mindset at 21 has given way to different perspectives in middle age. "The young Daliso would have been disappointed politically, as he's not a campaigner..." he says.

Despite this self-critique, Chaponda insists the new show is still full of fun. "Touring comedy is what I love most and do best. What's interesting about this show is that I look back on how I started, where I am and get to the bottom of why I love and need this. It's all very therapeutic and new age, but also I think this show is full of fun."

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After his Britain's Got Talent breakthrough, Chaponda has amassed over 300 million YouTube and Facebook views. In addition to live touring, he is a frequent guest on shows like QI, Have I Got News For You, and Countdown.

Catch Daliso at the Tobacco Factory on Sunday, October 20. Tickets are available here