Comedian aims to spark questioning

British comedian Sajeela Kershi says her show Fights Like a Girl is very upbeat and funny despite...
British comedian Sajeela Kershi says her show Fights Like a Girl is very upbeat and funny despite covering topics such as racism and Islamic extremism. PHOTO: GERARD O'BRIEN
You might not like what she has to say but British comedian Sajeela Kershi still wants to make you laugh.

Kershi, who grew up in a Pakistani Muslim immigrant family, says her show Fights Like a Girl aims to leave the audience questioning their own political and social motivations.

But despite the political focus and covering topics such as Islamic extremism, Kershi says her show is upbeat, funny and positive.

"It's a journey of a woman who starts life as an immigrant child and finds her way straddling both cultures to fight for who she is, but it's also very satirical because it's set in the political climate I grew up in," she said.

So far the reception from Dunedin audiences has been positive, though a few people have decided to walk out halfway through.

"It's not going to be for everybody but if you want to hear a different voice come and see me."

Not one to shy away from confrontation or dial back her mix of activism and comedy, Kershi says the Christchurch mosque attacks shook her to the core.

"I will take on anyone, but something inside me felt so shaky and vulnerable that night and I didn't want to go on stage - it was the last thing I wanted to do."

But an offer of a hug from an audience member before a show made her realise why it was so important for her to go on.

"They win as soon as we give up on our lives."

As a political activist, Kershi said the new generation of politically active young people showed there is hope for a better future.

"They have that passion which seems to have been lost for a generation and I think they are going to save us."

Fights Like a Girl is on tonight and tomorrow starting at 7pm then on Wednesday night at 5.30pm at the Inch Bar.


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