Born a Star

When one thinks of famous South African comedians, one of the first names to come to mind is undoubtedly Trevor Noah. Born to a Swiss-German father and Xhosa mother, his existence defied the apartheid regime laws of South Africa. Despite being “born a crime”, he has become one of the brightest stars to emerge from South Africa. Recently, he made history by becoming the first African to win the Most Outstanding Talk Series award for The Daily Show at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards.


Noah’s career took off when he was invited by Jon Stewart to join The Daily Show in 2015. He went on to spend seven years on the show, during which he became a world-renowned comedian. Noah’s undeniable talent and wit earned him the opportunity to host the Grammy Awards four times and the 2022 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. In his acceptance speech, Noah expressed his gratitude to Jon Stewart for opening the doors to international success by inviting him to join the show.

“‘He’s just a crazy genius for thinking of it,” said Noah. “Hey, Jon Stewart, wherever you are, my friend — thank you for calling me up. Thank you for asking me to come and join you on this crazy journey.”

Paying it forward, Noah left the door open for his fellow African comedians Joseph Opio and David Kibuku who joined The Daily Show as writers. One could say this award is a win for the continent and an embodiment of ‘Ubuntu’. 

While on the show, Noah helped his audience gain a better understanding of the Trump presidency and COVID-19 pandemic while also providing some much-needed comic relief. He also conscientised people about South Africa when he featured his late grandmother.

Noah’s career has reached new heights, and he has expressed his gratitude for the journey so far, saying, “this story has been so long, has been so crazy, it’s been so wonderful.”