Daliso Chaponda is best known for coming third in popular UK TV show Britain’s Got Talent in 2017, and it’s not often that a comedian’s TV debut is watched live by more than ten million people.
Loved for his infectious smile and disarming audience rapport, Daliso broke onto the mainstream comedy scene after judge Amanda Holden used her “golden buzzer” on the talent show to help him advance to the semi-finals. Following years of plying his trade as a comedian in Canada between 2001 and 2006, Chaponda experienced the highs and lows of open mic nights, before getting his big break in the UK eleven years later.
Moving to the UK in 2006, Daliso had begun to make headway on the circuit, opening for big name comedians such as John Bishop. as well making appearances internationally in South Africa and Australia. He appeared in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe‘s “Best of the Fest” in 2008 and the following year performed for the first time back in his home country, Malawi. Following his appearance on Britain’s Got Talent, Chaponda garnered over eight million Facebook and nine million Youtube views and signed with BBC Radio 4 to create a new series called Daliso Chaponda: Citizen of Nowhere. He began his first headlining world tour What the African Said… in February 2018 which is already proving to be a sell out hit!
Watch Daliso Chaponda: What The African Said
Debut show from the Malawian-born Britain’s Got Talent breakthrough act, Daliso delivers his cheekily charming take on recent news, old news, fake news, and stories that were never quite but ALMOST news. Having lived in countries where it is forbidden to criticise the the status quo, Daliso is the disarming comic making the most of his freedom to be very, very funny.
See Daliso Chaponda Live
Information on Daliso Chaponda’s upcoming live shows can be found here.
Born in Zambia in 1979 Daliso Chaponda is Malawian by upbringing but his family had fled the country when he was very young under the dictatorship of its then president, Hastings Banda. His father ended up working for the United Nations and so Daliso, as the son of a diplomat, spent much of his childhood moving around, living in Zambia, Kenya and Somalia as well as Thailand, Australia and Switzerland. He told The Guardian, “It was a mad, colourful time – which is why it often comes up in my jokes.”
With stand-up being a somewhat western concept, Daliso wasn’t fully aware of the art form until moving to Montreal, Canada to study Computer Programming and English at University. “I was like, wow, people can just stand up on stage and talk about their life? That was really the awakening moment for me. I had to try it.”
Honing his craft through gigs at local stand-up clubs and open mic nights, his very first headlining show, Feed This Black Man, was at Concordia University in 2002.
After graduating, he lived in South Africa before eventually moving to Manchester several years later.
Daliso is becoming known for using comedy to deliver provocative political subjects, but it’s always been part of the comedian’s style. In 2012, Chaponda made a joke about the Malawi flag during one of his “Laughrica” shows in Malawi and the government subsequently threatened to arrest him for insulting the flag. Turning the incident to his advantage , the comic was inspired to use the experience to co-write a BBC Radio 4 drama-comedy series When the Laughter Stops.
In 2017, Chaponda auditioned for the television talent series Britain’s Got Talent, winning popularity with audiences across the country and eventually coming third in the competition. Daliso regularly appears in comedy clubs and theatres around the world. He has been part of the Melbourne, Edinburgh, Singapore, Cape Town, and Montreal Festivals. In addition to stand up comedy, Daliso is also a prolific fiction writer having published science fiction, murder mysteries and fantasy fiction in numerous magazines and anthologies. His writing skills have transferred perfectly into his work in Radio too which Sioned Wiliam, Commissioning Editor for Comedy at BBC Radio 4 describes as “shrewd and thought-provoking as well as being very, very funny”.