The Funniest South African Writers Who’ll Make You Say ‘Yebo!’

South Africa, a land of breathtaking beauty, diverse cultures, and a history that’s as complex as it is compelling, has also given the world a bumper crop of writers who know how to tickle our funny bones. From the satirical musings of Pieter-Dirk Uys to the witty observations of Trevor Noah, South African writers have a unique perspective on life that is as refreshing as a sundowner on a hot Johannesburg day.

So, if you’re ready to embark on a laughter safari through the pages of some of South Africa’s most hilarious wordsmiths, grab a biltong, settle in, and get ready to discover the humor that’s as diverse and vibrant as the Rainbow Nation itself.

Pieter-Dirk Uys

Pieter-Dirk Uys is a satirist, playwright, and performer who has been poking fun at South African politics and society for over four decades. Best known for his alter ego Evita Bezuidenhout, a white Afrikaner socialite who delivers scathing social commentary with a beehive hairdo and a manicured smile, Uys’s writing is a fearless and funny exploration of the absurdities of apartheid and beyond. His plays, such as “Adapt or Dye” and “MacBeki,” are must-sees for anyone who appreciates the power of humor to speak truth to power.

Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah may be best known as the host of “The Daily Show,” but he first made a name for himself as a stand-up comedian and writer in his native South Africa. His memoir “Born a Crime” is a hilarious and heartfelt account of growing up mixed-race during the twilight years of apartheid. Noah’s writing is a perfect blend of humor and social commentary, tackling serious issues like racism, poverty, and domestic violence with a light touch that never diminishes their importance.

Gus Silber

Gus Silber is a journalist, author, and humorist who has been chronicling the quirks and absurdities of South African life for over three decades. His books, such as “The Phat Maverick” and “It’s a Pity I Didn’t Bring Any Swords,” are collections of his best columns and essays, offering a hilarious and insightful look at everything from politics to pop culture. Silber’s writing is a love letter to the crazy, beautiful, mixed-up country he calls home, delivered with a wink and a smile.


Zapiro, whose real name is Jonathan Shapiro, is a cartoonist and satirist who has been skewering South African politicians and public figures for over 30 years. His cartoons, which have appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country, are known for their biting wit and fearless commentary on the issues of the day. Zapiro’s books, such as “The Madiba Years” and “Dead President Walking,” collect his best work and offer a funny and thought-provoking look at the history and culture of South Africa.

Ndumiso Ngcobo

Ndumiso Ngcobo is a writer, comedian, and social commentator who has been making South Africans laugh with his incisive and irreverent take on life in the Rainbow Nation. His books, such as “Some of My Best Friends are White” and “Is It Coz I’m Black?” tackle serious issues like race, class, and identity with a healthy dose of humor and self-deprecation. Ngcobo’s writing is a celebration of the diversity and resilience of South African culture, delivered with a smile and a sharp tongue.

So there you have it, folks – a roundup of some of the funniest writers to ever come out of South Africa. Whether you’re in the mood for biting satire, heartfelt memoir, or just a good old-fashioned laugh, these authors have got you covered. So grab a book, settle in, and get ready to discover the humor that’s as warm and inviting as a braai on a beautiful day in the veld. And remember, laughter is the best medicine, especially when served with a side of chakalaka.

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