As a woman in the male-dominated comedy industry, Kate Goliath says she struggled with having her voice heard and being taken seriously. Being a woman that ‘does not know her place’, the talent manager and businesswoman forced herself into the comedy scene, started a comedy club and was named in the Mail and Guardian’s top 200 young South Africans, in the category of arts and entertainment.
After graduating with a degree in Corporate Communications from the University of Johannesburg, Kate started her career as a Public Relationship Officer for Primedia Broadcasting. When she became a mother however, she decided to focus less on her career and more on her 2 kids.
Kate really began entering the comedy industry when her brother asked her to help out with the admin for his comedy tour. Of course, her brother is comedy legend, Jason Goliath, who has happens to be one of her business partner and co-founder of her comedy clubs.
With the help of her two brothers and friend, Kate co-founded the popular Goliath Comedy Club in Melrose Arch, which provided a platform for some of South Africa’s finest comedy. Since then, the Goliath Comedy Club has closed, but with the help of her partners, she has opened a smaller, more intimate club in Melville, The Melville Comedy Club. The club runs Wednesday to Sunday and much like the Goliath Comedy Club, still offers the best in South African and African comedy.
When they started their comedy business in 2012, Kate ran everything but now she mostly oversees managing the accounts and the corporate side of the business. Kate says that they are now expanding their corporate comedy agency and adding more acts to the stable to create more work for other comedians and to expand the industry.
In addition to managing the careers of comedians which include her brother, she is also responsible for producing comedy shows and tours and is currently working with Siv Ngesi on a mini-festival called One Night Stands, which is scheduled for August and promises to feature South Africa’s top acts all in one night.
Her newest project is a conference called; Comedy Con. She says the conference came about a result of her frustration with the comedy industry and her seeing the need to bring the industry’s businesspeople and comedians together through knowledge sharing and cooperation. “We needed a platform where we can ask the questions to the relevant people in our industry,” says Kate. So far, she has managed to host the Comedy Con in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.
Originally from Eldorado Park in Johannesburg, Kate’s biggest inspiration is her mom, who also worked in Public Relations. Kate’s mom had always promised her kids that she would provide them with everything that she never had, and she kept that promise. However, she did not just spoil them rotten. She instilled in them a strong work ethic and those lessons are on full display with the success of all three of her children, Kate being one of them.
As for her struggles as a woman in a male dominated industry, she has the following to say: “If you keep forcing yourself into conversations and stand your ground, eventually people will call you just to hear your voice of reason. I don’t ever want to have to answer to anyone in the business world ever again, so I work hard to make sure I will always be my own boss”.