On Monday news spread across the Net about South African comedian, Trevor Noah being named the next host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central. The 31 year old will take over from the highly acclaimed Jon Stewart later this year. This is big…. REAL BIG.
There are only a handful of South African stars who have cracked the notorious American market, including:
- Actress Charlize Theron
- Actors Sharlto Copley and Arnold Vosloo
- Grammy winners, The Soweto Gospel Choir and Ladysmith Black Mambazo
- Supermodel Candice Swanepoel
And now Mr. Trevor Noah! So why is this such a big deal? Well for a number of reasons.
For one, Trevor isn’t American – obviously. There have been several murmurs online with people saying it isn’t fair that a woman wasn’t given the role. According to Comedy Central they considered both men and women, but Trevor was the one who really stood out.Some really bored people who also decided to trawl through his 8000+ tweets to try and find some dirt on him. They found a few from 2011 and 2012, that have now caused a major stir. Blah blah blah… He’s a comedian who pokes fun and anyone and everyone, including himself. Do comedians always take the moral high ground? Do they never offend? Thought so, so these haters must just stop hating and JBS. He brings in an international audience and potentially newer, more compelling content that isn’t totally America. I think that’s what the talk show scene needs.
Trevor must be the youngest personality to be given such a gig. So that’s also huge, but if we look at his rise to global fame, we can see how well and cleverly crafted this career move was by him and his team. Trevor has been doing stand up comedy for quite some time now. He has traveled far and wide and picked up a huge following in the process. He pokes fun and everyone and his whit really has won over millions. He not only hosted a radio show in SA for a short while, but he also had two relatively successful seasons of his talk show, Tonight with Trevor Noah. He was clearly keen on that format and perhaps he was already gunning for a bigger platform like the Daily Show, after the show came to an end in SA? Hence his many gigs and hours, days, months spent in the US. After just three short appearances on The Daily Show, he clearly wowed and impressed enough because this is where we are now.
So while many will no doubt look and analyze at the brand that is Trevor Noah in more detail, there’s one thing that really stands out for me. He has once again inspired millions of South Africans (young, old, black, coloured, white, gay, straight) to dream big, set their goals and aspirations high and go for it. It is possible and it can be achieved. Just work hard, hustle harder and make your destiny becomes your reality. I lost focus of my goals a few years back, but I’m back on track now and I’m not holding back.
I’m so incredibly proud of Trevor Noah and the other maybe lesser-known South Africans doing so well abroad. You’ve inspired, you’re making us aspirational and you deserve the success you’re so rightfully enjoying. We will support you all the way and know.