Using the healing power of laughter to help troubled communities is the aim of God Has a Sense of Humour, a comedy show to be staged in Lenteguer.
It is being organised by Devon Swartz and Dennis Stander, who run their own production company, DS Productions.
Stander is also the director of Men Stand Tall, a Parktown non-profit company raising awareness of social issues specific to men, while Swartz is the director of Taking Action Drama Academy, an extracurricular programme run at Mitchell’s Plain schools.
The two men will perform in the show along with fellow comedians Keith Mukhram, Arlene Petersen, Craven Engel, Jono Green and Jean Davids. And DJ Keegs will also be there.
“It will be a night filled with clean humour, lekker laughter and just a time to let your hair down, relax and enjoy life,” says Stander.
All proceeds from the show, he says, will support their community projects to nurture young talent and collaborate with organisations that promote mental health and community upliftment.
“We create a space where our people can deal with trauma: the many social ills they survive daily, mental health, gender-based violence, gangsterism and drug addiction. This is what we deal with on the Cape Flats,” says Stander.
Many people, and men in particular, don’t have a chance to share and deal with their emotions, he says. “They, we, are often told to get over it.”
The pair are both recovering drug addicts and say they want to continue working with community organisations.
Comedians for the show have been hand-picked to share their lived experiences, says Swartz. “Let us heal together. Listen to other broken comics.”
Stander adds, “We were once menaces, and now we are catalysts for change. We learned lessons when we fell down, and now we have to get up.”
Guilt, remorse and blame are common negative feelings and “just hurdles we need to work through”, says Stander.
The show is on this Saturday, June 3, at Cornflower Primary School hall, in Lentegeur, from 7pm. For tickets, at R100 each, call Valerie on 065 848 3924.