Celeste Ntuli is a full-time stand-up comedian and has come a long way since she was first discovered performing in a marquee in Durban more than nine years ago. She first captured our attention as a top ten contestant on SABC’s “So You Think You’re Funny” where she came third, this exposure allowing her to take stand-up comedy as a full-time career and she has not looked back since.
Many years later, Celeste is a household name and has become one of the female comedians in the forefront of a male dominated South African comedy industry. She has won the Mbokodo Award for Best Comedienne in 2015 and was a nominee in the SA Comics Choice Awards for 2015 and 2016 (voted for by peers in the industry, among the likes of Trevor Noah & Loyiso Gola). She’s also been nominated under the Favorite Comedian category in the 2016 YOU Spectacular Awards.
Celeste has performed at some of the countries biggest comedy events including the Comedy Central International Festival (where she was specifically requested by the Head of Viacom International Media Networks Africa: Alex Okosi), Johannesburg International Comedy Festival, BET Experience Comedy Festival and the Comedy Central Roast of Jeff Ross to name a few. She attributes her success to the fact that she has no holy cows – stereotypes, relationships and social issues – no subject is taboo as far as she is concerned. More recently, she can be found touring her latest one woman show “Black Tax”, which has played to full-houses and sold out shows around the country.
She is a brilliant comedian, MC and actress who’s featured in films such as The Jakes are Missing and Hard to Get, and can be seen daily as one of the main characters in one of South Africa’s favorite soaps Isibaya on Mzansi Magic, with a viewership of over 1 million, where she plays the role of Siphokazi Zungu (45), The oldest of the Mpiyakhe wives. Celeste has also been nominated in the South African Film & Television Awards (SAFTAs) as Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. And more recently, awarded The Simon Sabela Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Celeste Ntuli, the queen of the Zulu comedy and the first ever local female comic to record a one woman show DVD called Seriously Celeste which is a collection of her performances across the country.
A full-time stand-up comedian for the past five years, Celeste has come a long way since she was first discovered performing in a marquee in Durban about seven years ago. The 33-year-old performer was born in Empangeni. After finishing high school she relocated to Durban to study entertainment technology at Durban University of Technology.
Celeste attributes her success to the fact that she has no holy cows – stereotypes, relationships and social issues – no subject is taboo as far as she is concerned.
Celeste had always been a joker, even at school, so it was no surprise when she decided to pursue comedy as a career instead. “I was always the class joker so when I saw a poster about a comedy show, I called the organizers and asked them to give me a chance to show what I could do,” she said.
Show promoter Monwabisi Grootboom spotted Celeste at the show outside the Workshop Shopping Centre. He took her under his wing, giving her a chance to showcase her unique brand of comedy across the country.
Celeste says she gets her inspiration from artists like Monique, who is regarded as America’s funniest woman. “There are very few female stand-up comedians around the world. But Monique is unique and truly funny. I would like to be as successful as she is.”
Celeste can currently be seen as a lead actress on the DSTV soap 'Isibaya' where she has been nominated twice for a SAFTA. (South African Film and Television Awards)