Who Is Riaad Moosa? New Details On The Comic From 'Comedians Of The World' On Netflix

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who is Riaad Moosa

Comedians of the World on Netflix premiered on January 1st, and since then, we’ve gotten to see what life is like in all different areas of the globe. With 47 comedians from 13 regions, viewers have expanded their understanding of the unique perspectives these comics have to offer. The series also features comics from non-English-speaking countries, offering subtitles, so you really don’t have an excuse to not watch.

But one comedian who is making strides is South African comic Riaad Moosa. He’s talked about all sorts of topics, including racism, Islamophobia, apartheid, and Islamic stereotypes, but does so using observational comedy and satire. Though he doesn’t curse or use explicities in his routines, there’s no doubt that he offers a viewpoint many of us in the Western World are never exposed to.


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But who is Riaad Moosa and what do we know about his personal life? Here are seven details to know about the comic and how he got his start in stand-up.

1. His family moved from India.

Though Moosa was born in India, his family moved to South Africa where he grew up in Grassy Park. His mother is a GP, his father is an orthopedic surgeon, and his sister is a doctor.

2. He had a life before comedy.

Growing up, Moosa wanted a career in medicine, but trained in magic and became a silver medallion graduate of the College of Magic in Cape Town, South Africa. Eventually, he became a comedy magician, but when one of his tricks was exposed, he decided to quit.

He also spent six years training in medicine at the University of Cape Town Medical School, working in hospitals and eventually becoming a qualified medical doctor and GP. He worked as a doctor for three years.

3. He’s had a great career in stand-up.

He began performing stand-up while attending the University of Cape Town, participating in the Cape Comedy Collective’s Comedy Lab workshops, and eventually became a regular headliner at popular clubs in the area. In 2003, he performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and headlined the Cape Comedy Collective.

In 2006 and 2007, he performed one-man shows in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, and the shows were so popular they had an extended run and were later released on DVD. He toured South Africa in 2007 with Allah Made Me Funny, an American Muslim comedy troupe. He started the Doctor’s Orders tour in South Africa in 2013, and hosted the Just Funny Festival.


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4. He’s also made appearances on television.

In 2002, he performed on Laugh Out Loud, which is “South Africa’s largest stand-up comedy television show,” joining top comics to raise money for the Reach for a Dream foundation.

He’s appeared on 3 Wise Men, a variety comedy show, is a regular presenter of his segment called "The Second Opinion" on Loyiso Gola’s show Late Nite News, and hosted The Dr. Mol Show which was renamed Doctor’s Orders. He’s written and performed for the Pure Monate Show, and hosted Comedy Central Presents: Riaad Moosa Live at Parker’s.

5. But he’s dabbled in acting too.

He’s appeared in several movies including Crazy Monkey Straight Outta Benoni, Footskating 101, Material, and played Ahmed Kathrada in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

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6. He’s won awards for his work.

He won the Comics Choice Award at the first annual South African Comic’s Choice Awards in 2011, and won Best Actor at The South African Film and Television Awards in 2013.

7. He’s married with kids.

Moosa married Farzanah Bemat, a businesswoman, in 2003. The couple has two children: Zameer and Hanaa, and the family lives in Johannesburg, Gauteng.


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Samantha Maffucci is an associate editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.