Portrait – Simmi Areff, Comedian
With just R30 in his pocket and a dream of being in the spotlight Simmi Areff moved to Johannesburg to become a comedian. A man never far from a hookah pipe or a trending tweet Areff looks for any excuse to get up on stage to crack jokes for his supper.
It’s a typical Friday afternoon for comedian Simmi Areff. He sits across the table in the Joburg Theatre Canteen, South Africa, with a hookah pipe in one hand and a cup of tea in the other. Every ten minutes his phone vibrates as his manager valiantly tries to track him down. Areff is surprisingly calm for someone who will in two hours’ time go on stage. It even more surprising when he says hasn’t got a clue about what he will say on stage.
“After tonight I’ll be able to tell you if I was ready or not, but the only thing I can do wrong is disappoint them. I have about 30 minutes of the show, but it’s that last 15 minutes. I don’t know if I’m going to talk to people or what. Lots of people say that talking to people is not part of a one man show, but it’s what I’m good at. It’s what I’m known for, so why not. So I’m going to talk to people, I don’t know who yet but I’m going to do it,” he says through a cloud of mint flavoured smoke.
Photography – Jay Caboz
Location – Joburg Theatre, Johannesburg South Africa
Areff’s career has steadily taken shape. This photo was taken just before his first one man show at the Joburg Theatre. “HaHa-Laal” caused quite a stir in the Mulim community over the use of the logo. Regardless he has proven time and again that he is an up-and-coming in the South African comedy scene worth keeping an eye out for.
Publication – Forbes Africa Magazine