As one of South Africa’s most popular and acclaimed comics, RIAAD MOOSA (Ahmed Kathrada), is a silver medallion graduate of the College of Magic in Cape Town. Starting his comedy career as a comedy magician, he was presented with the Comedy Magic Award at the Centre for the Magical Arts in Cape Town.
Riaad, who is also a qualified Medical Doctor, started doing standup comedy while still studying Medicine at the University of Cape Town Medical School. He was an instant hit, receiving rave reviews at his debut show. Riaad started performing stand-up at the Cape Comedy Collective's free Comedy Lab workshops, and just two months later he was the winner of the hotly contested One City, Many Comics Talent Competition held as part of the One City Festival in September 1999. Being one of the first members of the Cape Comedy Collective, Riaad became a regular headliner on the comedy circuit during his rookie year, where he was also invited to perform on Pieter Dirk Uys’ Evita Live and etv’s comedy show Dangerous.
Alongside comedians David Levinson and Paul Snodgrass, he performed to sold-out shows of his debut stand-up comedy theatre production The Paracomics at Artscape in Cape Town. Riaad’s humour is based on his experiences as a young Muslim relating to post-911 Islamaphobia growing up in Cape Town and general observational and opinion-based humour. Now, a regular headliner on comedy circuits all over South Africa, Riaad is also a sought-after act for bigger productions. He has starred in Alex Jay’s 5FM Comedy Jams and Real Concert’s Winston King Size Comedy shows, as well as headlining the Sprite Soul Comedy Jams in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.
He supported Marc Curry of Hanging with Mr. Cooper fame, rocking the crowd at the Durban Playhouse in 2001. This was followed by his supporting Russell Peters in his show Made in India at the Luxurama Theatre where he received excellent reviews from his parents and critics alike. That same year Riaad was part of the largest stand-up show in the history of South African television Laugh out Loud, in which he joined nine of South Africa’s top comics to raise half a million Rand for the Reach for a Dream foundation.
In 2003, Riaad performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, headlining in the Cape Comedy Collective - The new South Africa Stands Up production. The following year Riaad was a writer and performer for SABC 1’s Pure Monate Show, which achieved cult status amongst South Africa’s urban youth. Riaad also featured in the Crazy Monkey – Straight Outta Benoni movie – one of the highest grossing South African movies of 2005. In 2006 Riaad performed his first one-man show Strictly Halaal at the Nelson Mandela Civic Theatre. The run was sold out a week before it started and 5 extra shows were added over one weekend to meet the huge public demand. He continued the tour in Durban at the International Convention Centre, and then at the Cape Town International Convention Centre packing both houses to capacity and adding on extra shows. He later appeared alongside Marc Lottering and Nik Rabinowitz in the hit variety comedy show 3 Wise Men - directed by David Kramer. Riaad performed his second theatre show For The Baracka hit, The Fringe at The Jo’burg Theatre (formerly the Civic Theatre) for record-breaking sold-out audiences.
South African Muslim comedian Halal Bilal was Riaad’s support act in Make Love Not War, along with the American Muslim comedy troupe, Allah Made Me Funny. Fans and new audiences alike just couldn’t get enough of the show, which led to Riaad Moosa for the Baracka being extended for a grand finale in the main Nelson Mandela Theatre at the Jo’burg Theatre. Riaad’s standout standup comedy skills were also recently included in the DVD for the successful Blacks Only comedy shows, and he also featured in the Anant Singh/John Vlismas produced comedy-collective feature film Outrageous, which was released on the nationwide South African theatrical circuit.
Along with SA’s top comedians - including Trevor Noah, David Kau, John Vlismas, Tumi Morake and Marc Lottering - Riaad was one of the headline acts supporting international superstar Eddie Izzard for the 46664 It’s No Joke concert in February 2010. This event raised funds for the ongoing work done by charities that fall under the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Riaad has since become a regular presenter of The Second Opinion – with Dr Riaad Moosa on the e-News channel’s satirical news Program Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola. In March 2011, Riaad was awarded the “Comics Choice Award” at the “First Annual South African Comic’s Choice Awards.” On 17th Feb 2012, Material - the movie that “made Barry Ronge cry” - opened in South African cinemas nationwide to overwhelming critical acclaim.