Riaad Moosa

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Riaad Moosa
Born (1977-06-18) 18 June 1977 (age 37)
Medium Stand-up, Television, Film
Nationality South African
Years active 1999–present
Genres Observational comedy, Satire, Impressions
Subject(s) Islamic humour, Indian culture, Racism, Political humour, Medical
Spouse Farzanah Bemat (2003–present)
Website www.riaadmoosa.co.za

Riaad Moosa (Urdu: رياض موسی‎; born 18 June 1977) is an Indian-born South African comedian, actor and doctor of Indian-Malay descent.

Early life[edit]

Moosa was born in India and with his family he came to South Africa for better opportunities.

He grew up in Grassy Park, one of three siblings. He attended South Peninsula High School until 1994. His sister is a doctor, his Indian-born father is an orthopaedic surgeon, his Cape Town-born Malay mother is a GP.[1][2] Since he was a child, he has wanted to do medicine.[3]

Moosa spent three years training in magic[1] and became a silver medallion graduate of the College of Magic in Cape Town. Riaad started his comedy career as a comedy magician[4] and he was presented with the Comedy Magic award at the Centre for the Magical Arts in Cape Town. His future in magic was terminated when somebody doing flash photography illuminated the wire across the stage where his magic orb was floating.[1]

Moosa then spent six years training in medicine at University of Cape Town Medical School and did his internship in hospitals near Thokoza in Gauteng, at Groote Schuur and Kayelitsha in Cape Town.[1] In 2001, he graduated from UCT Medical School. He is a qualified medical doctor and GP[5] He then worked for three years as a doctor.[6]



Moosa started doing stand-up on campus during his fourth year at University of Cape Town.[1] He 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. He became a regular headliner on the comedy circuit during his first year, where he was also invited to perform on Pieter-Dirk Uys’s “Evita Live and Dangerous” e.tv comedy show.[7] In 2000, he came to prominence on the comedy-club circuit in Cape Town.[3]

Moosa has starred in the Alex Jay 5fm “Comedy Jams” and Real Concert’s “Winston King Size Comedy Show,” headlining the “Sprite Soul Comedy Jams” in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. In 2001, he supported Marc Curry of “Hanging with Mr. Cooper” fame at the Durban Playhouse. In 2002, he supported Russell Peters in his show “Made in India” at the Luxurama theatre. In 2003, he performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, headlining in the Cape Comedy Collective – “The new South Africa Stands Up” production.[7]

His previous sold-out one-man shows include “Strictly Halaal” and “Riaad Moosa For The Baracka,” and “Three Wise Men and Three Wiser Men,” the hit comedy shows created by David Kramer.[5]

From September 2006 to March 2007,[7][8] Moosa had a schedule of sold-out one-man show runs like “Strictly Halaal” and “Riaad Moosa For The Baracka” in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town during its first run. Both shows prompted extended runs until May 2007,[9] and were also released on DVD. In 2006, Moosa also appeared in the Heavyweight Comedy Jam in London. He was also featured at corporate events and media engagements.[10]

In 2007, Riaad toured South Africa with the American Muslim comedy troupe, Allah Made Me Funny, doing the “Make Love Not War” show. South African Muslim comedian Halal Bilal performed with them on this, his first big tour since he started performing with Riaad a month before.[11]

In 2008, Riaad appeared alongside Marc Lottering and Nik Rabinowitz, in the variety comedy show “3 Wise Men,” directed by David Kramer.[7]

His stand-up comedy was included in the DVD for the “Blacks Only” comedy shows, along with other local comedians. He featured in the Anant Singh and John Vlismas produced comedy-collective feature film “Outrageous”, which played at cinemas nationwide in 2009, and was released on DVD in April 2010.

In February 2010, Moosa was one of the headline acts along with other South African comedians (including Trevor Noah, David Kau, John Vlismas, Tumi Morake and Marc Lottering). He supported Eddie Izzard for the 46664 “It’s No Joke” concert.[12][13]

In November 2012, he performed “Keeping You in Stitches” comedy show at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.[14][15][16][17] [17]

In October 2013, he started his “Doctor’s Orders” tour in South Africa.[18]

Moosa took part in South African national comedy tour, “Just Funny Festival,” where he hosted Muslim comedians, Azhar Usman, Mo Amer and Preacher Moss.[19]


Moosa is a regular presenter of a segment entitled The Second Opinion – with Dr Riaad Moosa on the E-News channel’s satirical news programme Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola. He has appeared in various TV and film productions.[13] In 2002, he performed on Laugh Out Loud, South Africa’s largest stand-up comedy television show, where he joined nine of South Africa’s top comics to raise half a million Rand for the ‘Reach for a Dream’ foundation.[7] In 2004, he was also a writer and performer for SABC 1’s “Pure Monate Show.”

In February 2013, Moosa hosted Comedy Central Presents Riaad Moosa Live at Parker’s on Comedy Central.[20] In June 2013, he replaced Michael Mol on hosting SABC 3’s The Dr Mol Show (originally titled Hello Doctor). The show was subsequently renamed Doctor's Orders.[21][21]


In 2005, Moosa appeared in Crazy Monkey Straight Outta Benoni.[9][13]

In 2012,[22] Moosa starred in the comedy film, Material, playing a young man who wants to be a comedian but his father disapproves.[23][24][25]

In October 2012, he went to the Busan International Film Festival in Seoul, South Korea where Material was shown,[26] In November 2012,[27] Moosa visited London, England to promote the film at the BFI London Film Festival.[3][28] In 2013, he will be going to the Asian Film Festival in Goa.[6][29]

He starred in the 2013 film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, an adaptation of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography Long Walk to Freedom, playing the role of former South African politician and political prisoner, Ahmed Kathrada.[8][30]

In January and February 2013, Moosa performed at the Baxter Theatre with a show called “What’s Next.” Later in the year he will be going on his “Doctor’s Orders Tour” throughout South Africa, Africa and the United Kingdom.[31]

Comedy style and reception[edit]

Moosa uses comedy to tackle sensitive issues like Islamic stereotypes,[3] Islamophobia, racism and prolapsed hemorrhoids. His other subjects, range from Bollywood to current politics to apartheid, his relatives will finally grasp why he practices comedy instead of medicine.[10] Moosa chooses not to use profanity and explicit vocabulary, making his shows accessible to the whole family.[8]

The South African comic-turned-movie-actor is a fully trained doctor, but it’s his Indian heritage and Muslim faith that provide the basis for his stand-up material – CNN.[3]

Moosa’s humor is based on his experiences as a young Muslim relating to post-911 Islamophobia, growing up in Cape Town and general observational and opinion-based humour. Skirting around the relatively taboo topics with charm and ease this comedy doctor will split your sides and keep you in stitches at the same time – Speakers Inc.[7]

“The man sure is funny, even on repeat...” – Helen Herimbi, The Star Tonight.

“Clean cut comedy show also uplifts society” – Sibusiso Mkwanazi, The Citizen.

“Byderwetse humor, Moosa se respek” – Marzanne Van Den Berg, Beeld Plus.

“Baraka... just what the doctor ordered” – Atiyyah Khan, Pretoria News.

“Yes He Can” – Citizen, Citi Vibe.


In March 2011, Moosa was awarded the Comics Choice Award at the “1st Annual South African Comic’s Choice Awards.”[32] In 2012, he was nominate for the Comic’s Choice Awards.[12]

In October 2012, Moosa hosted the FNB-powered Bookmarks Awards, an award ceremony of the icons and innovators who lead the digital industry, at Artscape Opera House in Cape Town.[33]

Personal life[edit]

On 12 January 2003, Moosa married businesswoman, Farzanah Bemat, who is training to be a homeopath. They have two children, Samir (born 2007) and Halah (born 2009).[1] They reside in Johannesburg, Gauteng. Some of Moosa’s comic material is inspired by his family.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Gray, Marianne (9 October 2012). "Comedy doctor Riaad Moosa has the remedy for SA’s ills". The South African.com. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Boshomane, Pearl (13 February 2012). "Riaad Moosa talks about 'Material' and changing Muslim misconceptions". Times Lives. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Curnow, Robyn (13 November 2012). "Comic talks Muslim humor and Islamophobia". CNN. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Riaad Moosa". Famous Faces. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Keeping You In Stitches: Presented by the Rondebosch Medical Centre & Comedy Central". Comedy Central Africa. 24 October 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Keeping you in stitches with Riaad Moosa (9.11.2012)". ExpressoMobi. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Riaad Moosa". Speakers Inc. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Riaad Moosa". 200 Young South Africans (Johannesburg: Mail & Guardian). 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "comedians-south-africa". Comedians South Africa. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Riaad Moosa - Strictly Halaal". Quirky House. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  11. ^ Moosa, Riaad. "Short Bio". Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "riaad moosa". Whacked. February 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c "Riaad Moosa". 5seasons. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  14. ^ "Riaad Moosa to host Keeping You in Stitches". Cape Town: Entertainmentafrica Mobile. 19 October 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  15. ^ "Splitting asides with Riaad". Cape Town: Cape Town Magazine. 17 November 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Keeping You In Stitches: Ticket giveaway!". Comedy Central Africa. 7 November 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  17. ^ "Win Tickets to Riaad Moosa's "Doctor's Orders"!". Joburg.co.za. October 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  18. ^ "Artist Info: Riaad Moosa". What's On In Cape Town. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  19. ^ "Riaad Moosa, Rob van Vuuren hit Comedy Central". DStv. 29 November 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  20. ^ a b Ferreira, Thinus (6 June 2013). "Riaad Moosa replaces Michael Mol". Channel 24. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  21. ^ "Riaad Moosa's Material gets release date". Channel 24. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  22. ^ Barodien, Shaheema (10 November 2011). "Watch: Riaad Moosa heads to the big screen in Material". Channel 24. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  23. ^ Barodien, Shaheema (25 September 2012). "Riaad Moosa takes Material to London". News24. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  24. ^ Ballim, Faeeza (14 December 2011). "Locally produced movie, Material, inspired by Riaad Moosa". Live. Laugh. Love. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  25. ^ Barodien, Shaheema (25 September 2012). "Riaad Moosa takes Material to London". Channel 24. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  26. ^ "Who would like to join me for the Riaad Moosa movie playing in London - Material". Meetup. 13 October 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  27. ^ "Riaad Moosa takes Material to London". Film contact. 26 September 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  28. ^ Ballim, Faeeza (12 November 2012). "Splitting asides with Riaad". The Observer. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  29. ^ Smith, David (26 August 2012). "New Africa: the doctor who became a standup comedian". The Observer. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  30. ^ "Moosa back at Baxter". Cape Town: The Voice of Cape. 3 February 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  31. ^ "Riaad Moosa". TVSA. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  32. ^ Ballim, Faeeza (12 November 2012). "Splitting asides with Riaad". The Observer. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 

External links[edit]