Brilliant, thought-provoking and effortlessly hilarious, Daliso Chaponda has been delighting British audiences since his first appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival back in 2008. With takes on his unique upbringing mingled with astute observations as a former political refugee living in the UK, Chaponda effortlessly mixes social commentary with on-the-spot gags with his audiences.
For a chance to see Daliso Chaponda in action, take a look at our schedules next time you’re in the mood for some Saturday night comedy.
While Daliso was born in Zambia and raised in Malawi, his father’s job as a UN lawyer meant that he lived everywhere from Thailand to Switzerland while growing up. An avid reader, Daliso took comic inspiration from authors Roald Dahl and George Bernard Shaw. Once a teenager, he took to perfecting his craft on the open mic circuit, performing in clubs in Canada and performing his first solo show, Feed This Black Man, in 2002.
After spending some time living in Canada, Daliso moved to the UK in 2006, instantly working the stand-up comedy circuit and opening for top acts such as John Bishop. His big breakthrough came in 2017, when he entered into Britain’s Got Talent as a comedic performer. After winning over Amanda Holden – who buzzed him into the semi-finals – he came in third place in the competition, and cemented his place in the UK comedy world as an eccentric, vibrant and engagingly hilarious performer.
Daliso has appeared as a guest on several TV comedy shows, including several appearances on QI. In 2018, Chaponda created a series called Daliso Chaponda: Citizen of Nowhere, with BBC Radio 4, with twelve half-hour episodes produced in total. His first world tour, What the African Said… kicked off in February 2018.
Having lived and worked in all corners of the world, Daliso’s unique perspective allows him to bring humour to serious and sombre matters. In 2014, after performing in Malawi and making a joke about the Malawi flag, the Malawian government threatened to arrest him. Daliso laughed off the event, proving to all that laughter truly is the best medicine.
What do the critics have to say?
“This is an unexpectedly political show. It is genial, gentle, and genuinely thought-provoking.” – The Scotsman
“He’s an instantly likeable performer, permanently smiley and covering every inch of the stage as he paces up and down.” – The Arts Desk
“He’s confident, cool […] Where he’s sharp is looking at Britain as someone getting to know the place, in pointed and layered ways that play with preconceptions.” – Adrian Reynolds
Where can you find him?
Daliso is active on Twitter at @dalisochaponda, where he regularly announces upcoming shows, performances and tours (alongside the odd witty commentary.) As of September 2022, Daliso is still currently on tour, but you might find him performing soon at our next stand up comedy night in London.