Lesego ‘Coconut Kelz’ Tlhabi
Lesego completed a BA (Honours) in Theatre with majors in Musical Theatre and Play-writing in 2014 at Brunel University London. During the previous summer, she adventured to New York Film Academy to obtain a Diploma in Musical Theatre as well as to Columbia University for a Diploma in TV Writing.
When she returned to South Africa after her graduation, she began working behind the scenes as a Content Producer and Scriptwriter for a variety of entertainment news and reality shows.
From the experiences she has gained and her training, Coconut Kelz ’emerged’. ‘Coconut’ has since developed into a noteworthy satire/comedy figure.
She tells Famous Faces that ‘Coconut Kelz’ was inspired by her (Lesego’s) time at school, which in South Africa means private schools which are inherently white spaces. She has used the outrage channeled from the micro-aggressions she witnessed from her white school mates on top of the race and class micro-aggressions around her today. The character, whose voice is much like that of a sheltered and privileged white person, but also that of and ‘out-of-touch black person, shines a light on their obtuseness or willful ignorance. From a landmark eNCA interview earlier this year, Lesego and Coconut Kelz remain very busy with many exciting projects (namely a debut novel; a satirical book “Coconut Kelz’ Guide To Surviving This Shithole”, features on various TV spots (including regular features on ETV’s Morning Show and The Tonight Show with Jane Dutton on eNCA. Also The weekend Breakfast Show with Phemelo Motene on Radio 702 and MTV’s Guy Code, as well as Jacaranda FM’s afternoon drive with Rian.
She also executive produced the “Coconut Kelz Election Special” on BET, alongside Clive Morris Productions which aired in May 2019.
She has hosted the Media 24 Awards, The Coconut Show – a stand-up comedy special featuring Donovan Goliath and Tats Nkonzo, and will host the Grilling of Soli Philander at Monte Casino. She also received the honour of being one of 200 Young South Africans, Mail & Guardian 2019.