Laugh out loud for charity

Riaad Moosa.

Comedians are partnering with relief organisation Penny Appeal in a comedy tour for a good cause.

Penny Appeal is an NGO which aids communities in need, while advocating and addressing the needs of marginalised people. The comedy show, called Penny for a Laugh, will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Friday July 19. There will also be shows in Durban and Johannesburg.

Hosted by Heathfield comedian Riaad Moosa, the tour will feature Annalakshmi, Chris Forrest, Conrad Koch and Chester Missing, Farhan Esat, Mo Vawda, Ndumiso Lindi, Sifiso Nene, Simmi Areff and Tumi Morake. Shahnaaz Paruk, CEO of Penny Appeal, said it was an exciting time for them as they embarked on their first national comedy tour for charity.

“This milestone, in our relatively new chapter, holds promise of great ventures to come and with that comes the possibility of being able to extend our services to those we strive to serve right here at home and across the globe. We can’t think of a better way to support those in need other than to bring the public together for a good laugh and for a great cause.”

Ms Paruk said the idea for the comedy show came from Penny Appeal’s comedy fund-raisers, however, they decided that this year, they wanted to do a more diverse show with a South African twist.

“We approached some of the local comedians to help us put something together, and they’ve been really great about being part of the show.”

She said the aim was to raise R1.5 million over the three shows.

The proceeds will go towards various projects including Penny Appeal’s Children of the World campaign.

The campaign is focused on orphaned and vulnerable children, as well as marginalised communities across Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

“More specifically, the funds will go towards kick-starting our mobile bus clinic, which will launch in the Western Cape. The bus will provide primary healthcare services to areas including Mitchell’s Plain, Hanover Park Valhalla Park and other areas on the Cape Flats where people struggle to access healthcare. The service will also be extended to pupils at underprivileged schools, and will provide primary healthcare services such as health screenings, vaccinations and medicines for common colds and the flu. The clinic will also refer people to other medical services if needed. There will also be a dental service which will promote oral hygiene and treatment of minor dental issues, as well as an eye clinic, where peoples’ eyes can be tested and they could either receive spectacles for basic problems, or be referred to other clinics if the medical bus is unable to assist.

“We are very passionate about this project because we are taking the services to the people. We understand the challenges that the health care service in South Africa faces and we want to make it easier for people who cannot access services to have it at their doorstep.”

Mr Moosa, a qualified doctor, said when he was approached by Penny Appeal, he was interested in taking part because he wanted to help raise funds for the mobile clinics.

He said Penny Appeal had done many comedy fund-raisers around the world and, with South Africa’s booming comedy scene, wanted to have a charity show here too.

“We’re very excited to be part of this tour because of all the good it can do – help support orphans and health initiatives plus having a belly laugh in the process. What could be a more worthwhile exercise?” said Mr Moosa. He said the audience can expect family-orientated material coming from a diverse group of comedians.

“And I’ll be the host. I want people to come out and enjoy themselves all while supporting a good cause.” He said the idea was to do more shows with Penny Appeal in future to support the cause.

Woodstock comedian and ventriloquist Conrad Koch will also be taking to the stage with his most famous puppet, Chester Missing. He said he was happy to be part of the charity show.

“The line-up is beautiful and proudly South African, and it will be hosted by Riaad, who is of the best in the country.”

He said from his set, people can expect Chester’s political jokes.

“We will have Chester spitting fire, and maybe an Ace Magashule joke… and definitely a Patricia de Lille joke!”

Ticket prices for Penny for a Laugh start from R200 and can be booked through Computicket. For more information on Penny Appeal and how to donate to their cause, visit