In just over two years Lasizwe Dambuza is the internet sensation that has taken social media by storm. Whether its unforgettable characters on Youtube or his real-life run-ins with South Africa’s hottest celebs, Laziwe’s hilariously irreverent take on life always keeps fans coming back for more. He’s young, funny, and on the road to greatness. Get some insight into this one of kind talent with CSA and On the Radar Volume 2.
Words: Tshiamo Seape
Where are you and what are you up to?
I’m editing some footage I’ve been working on for clients. It needs to be submitted tomorrow, but I like submitting things early. I’m really good with deadlines – I hate being late.
Who is Lasizwe when not in character?
Lasizwe is a 19 y/o boy who’s always had a dream of being in the limelight. From as long as I can recall that’s been my dream.
Starting from when I was six or seven, I was always going to auditions and I’d always get rejected. Casting directors would always say I looked too young for the role. I probably should have auditioned for younger roles, but back then I wasn’t so savvy. After a while, I gave up and when I was around thirteen I stopped auditioning.
Is that why you started impersonating other people?
Exactly. When I started making my own videos it I found a way of grabbing the attention of clients and production houses. I knew if they wanted to hire me they would go through my social media, so I just started putting my videos up online. Like I said, I’ve always wanted to be in the limelight, and to make people smile and laugh. Doing those impersonations and making the videos was a way of doing that.
Where do you get your inspiration for your skits?
I got a lot of ideas from my mom, so when she passed I had to recap my memory. I also take inspiration from the things that happen around me. I have to give people what they want so it’s also nice to see what’s popular.
Criticism can help. Bad critiques can make you a better person at the end of the day
Who are the people that you talk to when you’re coming up with your characters?
I literally run my ideas past myself and properly think it through. I also use my Instagram and ask people what they think of the characters. Tell me in the DM’s, email, fan mail me – I really like to hear what my fans think.
What’s the checklist for putting your work out?
I used to want to make all my videos hits, but I learned that not everything can be. Even so, every time you put something out it still needs to be the best version of that video. In the same way, you wouldn’t expect every song from a musician to be a hit, but they still have to put in the time to make it as good as it can be. You just have to trust in the craft and it will do the work.
Can you take us through a typical day in the life of Lasizwe?
Life is quite hectic at the moment; I’ve been keeping myself very busy. I wake up at 6 o’clock and I take a shower. I check and respond to emails, then I edit my videos. At around 9 I go to a production meeting. I get my script and go over it. Some days I’m shooting and that can take me up to 11 o’clock.
After that, I go to Touch HD to do the radio show. After that, I go to MTV to shoot my show “You Got Got”. Depending on whether there is an event, I go and show face and then back home at eleven for bed and to prepare for doing it all over again the next day.
How is the Touch HD project coming along, it’s one of your latest projects?
Yes, it is. It’s going really well and it’s actually a dream come true because I created the opportunity for myself. How it happened is that I was invited to have an interview at Touch HD, and when I got there I thought “I have to be here, this is my place – I belong here”. So I went into the interview and I flipped the script on the host and started asking them questions. Soon after that, I was called into a meeting where they told me how much they liked my work and that I would be a great addition to the team.
Congrats! Do you ever think of expanding your career into acting?
I do want to pursue acting, but I still need to find the right people to talk to. I want to be in a soapie.
Whilst we’re on it, who’s your favourite soapie character?
It must Brutus, from the Queen.
As an influencer, what does the term mean to you? What’s your opinion on being influential?
Being influential in South Africa is being able to have the ability to get your audience engaged and in sync with your interests. Sometimes people even rely on your opinions. That’s the power and privilege you have as an influencer. You get to be the person people trust.
In life, you always have to have a plan B, C, and D…[being funny] is about staying current and sticking with the times
Taking it back for a bit, some of your jokes did not sit well with certain people. Has there been a time when comments have made you embarrassed or upset?
Something that gets me upset is when people bash you for no reason. Personal attacks really upset me.
Do you have any fears of the future, do you worry that people will lose interest and stop watching?
In life, you always have to have a plan B, C, D. The day people become dry is the day they stop evolving with the times. It’s about being current and and sticking with the times.
You’re clearly very current and very popular, so what is your favourite part of being young and successful?
It’s a great feeling, I won’t lie, but there’s also a lot of pressure. When you’re young you have to do two times the work. People want you to be able to juggle multiple jobs, and it can be a lot. But overall it’s fantastic. I get to live my dreams every day, what more could I ask for?
So, before we let you go, we have to ask: what is the secret to being funny?
The key ingredient is just experiencing life. You need to know how to elaborate on life and you need life experience to be funny. It’s even better when you can experience things other people haven’t. Also acceptance. You need to have acceptance when people try and bring you down. It’s good to have a thick skin.
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