Mental As Anyone

MAA #039: With Vincent Tshaka

Oct. 28, 2016

Interview with worldly comedian Vincent Tshaka, who started comedy 7 years ago as a way to learn about Australian culture.  His comedy is based on his life and experiences, including racism.  Vincent frequents venues like the Comic’s Lounge, the Exford and the Joint, as well as travelling for gigs interstate.

We discuss: Being booed off-stage in Kenya, the young comedy scene in Kenya and making fun of tribes, the lack of discussion about mental health in Kenya, moving to England in his 20s, government involvement in promotion of mental health issues in Australia, recognising the flow-on effects of mental health on society and the economy, growing awareness of mental health issues in Kenya, Band-Aid approach of not selling alcohol until 5pm, not addressing the underlying issue of mental illness, views on the Kenyan Government (“democratic on paper”), self-funded mental health care in Kenya, the benefits of community care and family support, importance of addressing the underlying causes, open racism in the UK vs more subtle racism in Australia, defending himself against other people’s perceptions, being told to “tone down” on stage so that others are comfortable, being stereotyped, the issue of applying for jobs, passive-aggressive racism and finding the humour in it, using comedy to get people thinking and talking about issues, celebrating cultural differences, mixing cultures to grow and develop, Vincent’s super power, making a snowman in his PJs, and his message of asking people “How are you?” because that question can be a lifesaver.  

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