Altaaf’s ‘bad jokes’ takes him to Comic Choice Awards

Altaaf Sayed, 32, will be performing at the South African Savanna Comics Choice Awards later this month.

A Rylands comedian always enjoyed making bad jokes and playing with puns, but Altaaf Sayed didn’t expect to make a career out of it.

He has been chosen by the South African Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards to take part in the newcomers showcase performance on Sunday May 20 at the Soweto Theatre in Johannesburg.

Altaaf grew up in Penlyn Estate with his parents and two older sisters and moved to Rylands around 2008.

He attended Habibia Primary School and SACS High School, then studied business at the University of Cape Town.

He moved to Johannesburg in 2010 and upon returning to Cape Town, started his career as a stand-up comedian at the Armchair Theatre in Observatory during open mic evenings.

“I always had a thing for making bad jokes and using puns – it’s ridiculously funny. I have always had a weird way of looking at the world and it’s true what people say, laughter is the best medicine,” said Altaaf.

Part of the criteria for the upcoming awards is that the competitors must only have been in the comedy industry for two years.

Each of the 24 comedians who were chosen from different cities in South Africa, will have five minutes to perform and one of them will be awarded as newcomer of the year.

“I am super nervous, I didn’t expect anything and I got chosen. It is a great platform to showcase our talent. I just want to be funny on the day and I hope to make people laugh as hard as they can.”

One of the highlights of Altaaf’s career was performing at a fund-raiser for an 8-year-old boy who was chosen to play in a soccer tournament in Portugal.

“One of the most challenging moments was when I was in Joburg and as I got off the stage I fell flat on the floor and it was so embarrassing but I soon got over it,” he said.