BACKSTORY: Marc Lottering
We asked comedian Marc Lottering what he loves most about SA, his worst purchase and top tip for doing a deal
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
Steer clear of the deal if the other person has a flimsy handshake and can’t make healthy eye contact. And has a random e-mail address that has nothing to do with nothing.
How much was your first pay cheque, and how did you spend it?
Around R350, earned after 20 days of work. I was a friendly shelf packer at a supermarket. I absolutely used the money to lay-bye jeans and sneakers.
Would you consider sharing royalties with Jacob Zuma, since he is selling his socks to pay legal fees and he provided such great material for comedians?
I am here to make other people better people. I would not help Zuma become a better person if I did not allow him to feel the discomfort of having to chill barefoot as he discovers how the law works.
What would you say is the role of satire?
To hold up a mirror and make people laugh, think and feel somewhat uncomfortable.
What do you love most about SA?
We are not afraid to laugh during our darkest times.
How would you fix Eskom?
I would close shop and form a brand-new company, employing brand-new, smart people, all of whom are honest, driven and have matric.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I am terrified minutes before every performance, longing for the days when I was a shelf packer. Everything’s fine after the first roar of laughter.
What has been your worst purchase?
A leather jacket in India that has changed colour three times already.
Do you think the Rainbow Nation project has passed its sell-by date?
No. The Rainbow Nation is about the mindset of the people. We’re going through a bad patch. But there are more people who want the country to work than social media would have us believe.
Was there ever a point at which you wanted to trade it all in for a different career? And if so, what would that career be?
Never. I seriously could never imagine waking up to do anything else. I would not be good at anything else.
How would you close the gap between SA’s rich and its poor?
If we apply our minds, it will take 20 more years, at least. Townships need great schools, with great teachers. All South Africans need a good education that will enable them to ultimately land a good job. It’s unacceptable to get to high school and still struggle to read a sentence. That, to me, is sinister.
Is there such a thing as "enough money", and if so, how much is it?
Yes. If I am comfortable every day, and I am able to provide comfortably for my family, then I have enough money.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
This is a trick question, surely. As a man of great integrity (ha ha), I don’t consider any virtue to be overrated.
Do you have a single favourite joke you tell people? What is it?
Not one. And I’m envious of people at a braai who have a string of them.
Who would you rather have dinner with: Jacob, Julius, Hlaudi, Donald, Boris or Kim Jong-un?
• Lottering’s show Aunty Merle — It’s a Girl opens at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town on November 22