07/06/2017 09:50 SAST | Updated 07/06/2017 09:50 SAST

David Kau: I'm No Celebrity. Here's Why

"I limit what people know about me outside my work."

Justin Barlow / Getty Images

South African comedy heavyweight David Kau says he does not see himself as a celebrity but rather views the entertainment industry as a "place of work".

HuffPost SA caught up with Kau on the set of his new show, "It's Okay, We're Family", which is scheduled to air on SABC3 from July.

According to Kau, his staying power in the industry stems from him being able to stay current.

"I was able to remain current and relevant. Also, I did not do the celebrity thing. I decided not to get into the cycle of celebrity status. I don't see myself as a celebrity. When I attend events, I do so for work purposes, not as a socialite," said Kau.

He told HuffPost SA that over the 19 years he's been in the industry, he's had to learn to say no to money.

"It's true that you're only as good as your last gig. At times as entertainers, we get offers to perform for a lot of money, but if organisers are willing to pay you so much money and not willing to spend an extra buck for the sound system then it becomes a problem, because at the end of the day it is one's brand on the line. That's where I learnt to say no to money and find a balance between what to take up and what to let slide," he said.

He keeps his family life private. "I have had to limit what people see outside of my career and let them see me for my work. I don't put in the public eye what is not about my career," he told HuffPost SA.

Kau noted the increase in the number of up-and-coming comedians on social media.

"Social media has given a platform for many young aspiring comedians to flourish. However, this does not mean every funny person on social media can have a stand-up show. Not everyone is good on stage and you don't have to be good on stage to prove your worth as a comic. Find someone to package you properly for the platform you are on. Keep at what you are good at and if that's pushing your work on social media, then stay there. If your dream is to be a stand-up comedian, then take up the path," Kau said to HuffPost SA.

Kau said he has used his comedy show "Blacks Only", now on its 14th year, to provide a platform to black comics who would not otherwise be able to break into the industry.

He loves discovering new comedians and giving them space to excel. "The show has always been that platform for non-English speaking comics or comedians who want to perform in whatever language they want to perform in," he said.

On radical economic transformation, Kau said everyone must work for what they want. "No one will bring it to you. You have to go out there and create your own."