About Mpho Popps
Mpho Popps (Birth name Mpho Modikoane) is a remarkable South African comedian who is best known to TV viewers for being one of the superstars to compete in the sixth edition of the SABC3 reality dancing competition Strictly Come Dancing, in 2013.
Popps initially got noticed on the SABC1 competition So You Think You're Funny! in 2009 before going on to the club scene in Johannesburg, where he swiftly made a name for himself and joined some of the biggest titles in comedy, including Trevor Noah and Marc Lottering. He has consequently appeared on Blacks Only, Mzansi Magic's Opening Guys and Laugh Out Loud and on the talk show Late Night with Kgomotso. He also performed in the miniseries Taxi Ride as Kumba, a man of many faces who is a flamboyant person with a roguish side.
Popps made his primary appearance on DStv's Comedy Central station in May 2012 on the first ever episode of Comedy Central Presents... Live @ Parkers, a show which was headlined by John Vlismas. He was also a reviewer on the second season of the Vuzu show 10 Over 10, in 2013. And in 2014 he hosted the SABC1 reality cooking series The Perfect Sishebo Show.
Mpho Popps - Comedian and MC – Johannesburg
Now that comedians have become huge in South Africa and with like Loyiso Gola and Kagiso Lediga as major TV and film stars, lots of people are trying to break into the occupation. Out of the clatter and the publicity one humble and physically slender young comic seemed to arise, a fully formed talent. One clip of Mpho’s comedy was enough to turn anyone into a fan, but there is also more than recommendation of expert comics who respected his talent and felt tenderly enough toward him to inspire South Africans to consider him. We knew we wanted a comic from the next generation of post-apartheid jokers and Mpho was the best among them, commented critics as he was nominated for the Newcomer Award at 2011 South African Comic’s Choice Awards, as well as in 2012 for the Breakthrough Act Award.
The twenty two year old kid from the township of Soweto, worked extremely hard at college studying Logistic Management as a major. He never thought his jump on to the comedy scene would create such a big stir in a short two years.
For his very first call, he stood infront of a PC camera and pulled his sleeves up to open with, “Humour has always been my best defense.” Truth is that he always had a strong mind and when he suddenly went from a private school (on a maths scholarship) to a public school after a few years, he would need more than just his mental skills. One of his best accounts is of how he won over a few bullies who were going to beat him up by telling jokes.
This stand-up guy also devotes his time to doing comedy and empowerment sessions with kids from various townships, encouraging them not to make excuses and dream big. He also creates edutainment films that help immensely on difficult topics like financial knowledge in rap format.
This is in part because of the hurdles he faced, such as the time he got kicked out of the house for being a problem child, and was sent to his grandmothers for discipline. To keep his spirits up he sketched funny cartoons on his books, which is one of the reason his sister took him to a show with Trevor Noah, Daivid Kibuuka and other comics.
Comedy runs in his blood as he often jokes that he is the least funniest person in his family, its only because he took to the stage do people appreciate it. Chris Forrest gave him the best advise he could have asked for when he was starting out, “I hope you are not upset about losing the cash prize, because you are going to make it overnight.” And it was so true – soon after that, shows flooded his way.
His worst account of when things went wrong during a set was when a women fell through the stage and the organisers asked him to continue while they were waiting for the ambulance – she was still under the stage at the time.
But his career is not all jokes with some days filled with 12 hour shoots followed by four hours on stage and that exclude the work he does in private to master his craft. He loves the South African audience and they love him. With fans randomly hugging him, even with tears in their eyes. His approach to comedy makes your stiches quiver and leaves you with an unforgettable and rather informative experience like no other.
Mpho Popps Modikoane is now set to launch his finest one-man comedy show, Exhibit A only at the Gold Reef City's Lyric Theatre in February 2015. With a unique style all of his own, tempting stage personality and a reputation for enthralling audiences, Mpho Popps Modikoane has shone across our screens making thousands of individuals laugh with immense stand-up comedy shows like Mass Hysteria and Blacks Only. After years of doing a variety of comedy line-ups, he is going solo and will anchor his first one-man spectacle. It promises to charm as a no-holds barred expedition into some of the irrational things that occur in Popps’ head and world.