This time around he shares hilarious and poignant stories about helping a friend hide from her family while recovering from secret plastic surgery, the highs and lows of his mother’s political campaign, a carefully planned but disastrous first kiss, an unexpected religious conversion and living close next-door to North Korea for five years. 

When We Were Nearly Young is modelled after storytelling shows like This American Life, The Moth and RISK! Alexander Upstairs Theatre recently spoke to Mogashoa in the run up to his show coming to the Cape Town theatre bar. 

Home town?


Tell us a little more about When We Were Nearly Young?

When We Were Nearly Young is a solo storytelling show inspired by This American Life, The Moth and the stand-up comedy of Mike Birbiglia and Simon Amstell. The theme for this show is “transcendence”. I’m telling personal and jokes stories about suffering through celebrity diets, a disgusting first kiss, North Korean bomb threats, kinky apartheid role-play, speaking in tongues and how to respond to a fisting offer. It’s a hilarious show that is also incredibly intimate and honest.

What’s the next project?

I’m working on a new selection of stories and jokes that I’d like to start performing by the end of the year. I already have a title but I’m too scared to say it out loud.

And the one you’re dreaming of?

Oh, man. My writing partner and I are writing a comedy web series that we hope to shoot in Joburg and NYC. My dream is for it to actually work out and have people get into it. So we could write more of it and be on Comedy Central or HBO.

How did you get into theatre?

My teacher in grade one taught me a poem and a story without making a big deal out of it. Then one morning she told me I would be performing it in front of the entire school and some parents. I was terrified. I wasn’t an obvious performer. The only theatrical thing about me was that I loved Cruella de Vil. But other than that, I was a quiet little weirdo who thought the baby Jesus was a literal baby born in our time. But when I went up and performed the piece, I didn’t want to stop. I felt like I’d been invited into a special club. I’ve been chasing that high ever since.

Dinner with any two figures from history: who would you invite and what would you serve them?

Britney Spears is a historical figure, no? I’ll say yes because her dancing ability certainly is a thing of the past now. That is the worst thing I have ever said about Brit Brit. I am ashamed of myself. I feel dirty. Forgive me Britters, I tease because I love. I would invite her and Julia Child. I’d serve Julia’s Boeuf Bourguignon and we’d wash it down with Britney’s favourite frappuccinos. And then play a game of charades.

Favorite spot in Cape Town (besides Alexander Bar, obviously)?

But the Alexander Bar is my favourite spot in Cape Town. I haven’t lived in Cape Town for six years. I know nothing. The only place that comes to mind is Willoughby & Co. for the sushi. Not for the V&A of it all.

What excites you about theatre?

You can try anything in theatre. As a non-traditional theatre performer I am still amazed that I am able to do what I do on stage. And I want to continue trying new things that I may not necessarily be able to do on other platforms. There’s always space for something in theatre. It’s limitless.

What mistakes have you made and learned the most from?

Comparing myself to other performers and worrying about whether or not what I wanted to say was important enough held me back for quite some time. Silly, silly concerns.

Who do you think people should be talking about?

Honestly? Me. I’m fun.
In When We Were Nearly Young, Mogashoa tells real stories from his life with humour and candor. These are tales often shared among friends after a really good meal. They are personal and leave you feeling less alone in the world. 

When We Were Nearly Young
Date: Tuesday, 5 to Saturday, 9 May and Monday, 11 to Saturday, 16 May
Time: 21:00
Venue: Alexander Upstairs

Tickets cost R90 at the door and R80 when purchased before. To book online, click here. One can also purchase tickets in person at the bay anytime during opening hours (Mondays to Saturdays from 11:00 to 01:00). For telephonic bookings and enquiries, phone 021 300 1652.

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