Weeks after denting its image over xenophobic attacks, Trevor Noah’s Madison Square Garden big show caps South Africa’s rebound

Michael Eli Dokosi Nov 11, 2019 at 06:00pm

November 11, 2019 at 06:00 pm | Entertainment

Michael Eli Dokosi

Michael Eli Dokosi | Staff Writer

November 11, 2019 at 06:00 pm | Entertainment

Trevor Noah via Twitter

In September this year, South Africa suffered a dent on its image when some agitated citizens routed African nationals they perceived to be taking jobs from them. Those who bore the most brunt were Nigerians but also Zimbabweans and Zambians.

Things got heated such that entertainers such as Tiwa Savage and Burna Boy all of Nigeria canceled gigs they had in the country while other sporting and entertainment engagements had to be put on hold until frayed nerves were calmed.

The South African president sent emissaries to African states including Ghana and Nigeria to stress the importance of the relationship they share, pledging to tackle the issues at home.

South African captain Siya Kolisi holds the Webb Ellis Cup aloft with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa after South Africa defeated England to win the Rugby World Cup final at International Yokohama Stadium in Yokohama, Japan, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.
South African captain Siya Kolisi holds the Webb Ellis Cup aloft with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa after South Africa defeated England to win the Rugby World Cup final at International Yokohama Stadium in Yokohama, Japan, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.
 Christophe Ena—AP

It does appear the country is rebounding and on a roll. On Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 in Yokohama, Japan, South Africa defeated England to win the Rugby World Cup final. The victory sweetened by Siya Kolisi, the first black captain in the Springboks’ 128-year rugby history, leading the team to get its third cup. The celebrations went on for days.

In another good news for the Rainbow Nation, gleaming music sensation Sho Madjozi’s “John Cena” video on Colors Studios went viral this year, viewed by more than 5 million times. And when Madjozi was invited on ‘The Kelly Clarkson Show’ to shed light on her music and inspiration, she took it in her stride when the host told her idol John Cena couldn’t make it to the studio. But while performing, WWE wrestler John Cena emerged on stage gob smacking the lady, who could not believe her luck and among others bear hugged the affable star.

Her natural excitement and reaction has endeared Sho Madjozi to fellow South African performers and other online users who cheered her on. Not one to be left behind, Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa stated: “Through her authentic expression of African culture Sho Madjozi has displayed to the world the unique identity of our African people.”

But what takes the biscuit for South Africa was when show host and stand-up comedian Trevor Noah sold out the Madison Square Garden with an estimated 22,226 seats over the weekend.

Reports say only nine other comedians have managed to pull off the impressive feat including Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, and Kevin Hart. By being able to hold the successful show, Noah became the first African comedian to sell out the arena in New York on his ‘Loud and Clear’ Tour.

Taking to social media, Noah said he wished the moment had never ended.

“Last night [Saturday] was incredible. Thank you to everyone that packed out [Madison Square Garden] and made it such a memorable night! I didn’t want it to end,” he wrote.

Noah is the current host of The Daily Show, an American satirical news program on Comedy Central. The 35-year-old is a South African comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, and television host. These feats have led some rainbow citizens to note: “It’s cool & nice being a South African lately.”

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