Introducing the ‘Prins’ of Comedy: A Story of Virgil

As a student studying Law and Management, Virgil Prins had his sights set on becoming a Lawyer. He had no idea that a few years later, he would become an award-winning comedian with his own one-man show.

Born and raised in the Eastern Cape, Virgil says that he only started doing comedy by chance as a student at  Rhodes University. He was walking on Campus with a friend and they spotted some posters advertising auditions for an ‘improv’ group. He auditioned and not surprisingly, he was selected. Of course, he still had to complete his studies so this was not where his story to stardom starts.

After graduating with a BCom in Law and Management, he returned to his hometown of East London and found employment as a teacher. During this period, he made a name for himself in his hometown, by doing the odd comedy show at a local club. He knew however that he needed to move to Johannesburg, as the Eastern Cape had limited opportunities. A few a months later, he did.

Moving to Johannesburg was a huge risk since he had no job lined up. He was prepared to take on whatever job was available, stayed with friends and he networked tirelessly. He took any small gig that was offered to him and his hard work and willingness to sacrifice paid off. People started noticing him and the gigs started getting bigger.

Known simply as ‘Prins’ in the comedy world, his name recognition grew to the point where he has been on MNET’s ‘Trevor Noah’s Nationwild’, Showmax Original’s ‘Funny People Africa’ and Comedy Central’s ‘Grab The Mic’. He has performed at international events such as Montreux International Comedy Festival in Switzerland and the Busan International Comedy Festival in South Korea.  He has shared the stage with South Africa’s comedy greats like Marc Lottering, Trevor Noah, Loyiso Gola, Barry Hilton, Kagiso Lediga, Mark Banks and John Vlismas.

A critically lauded comedian, he has won the 2016 Savanna Comics Choice Award for ‘Breakthrough Act of the Year’ and was the awards presenter in 2018. He also won the 2015 ‘Jokenation International Comedy Talent Search’ and the 2015 ‘Parkers Comedy Club Comic-kazi Competition’; and he was nominated for the Comedian of the Year’ by Beat Magazine as well being the 2015 Runner-up in the Comedy Central ‘Grab The Mic’ Competition. He is fast becoming a well-known feature on radio and television, and he has also made an appearance in the soapie, Binnelanders. He has also produced successful shows at the National Arts Festival.

When it comes to his brand of comedy, Virgil is described as “a funny guy”, in a “Trevor Noah kind of a way”. Like Noah, he is a “sharp”, “observational” comedian with a “real genuine, salt of the earth character”. He says that people have often described his routine as “Naughty but Nice”.

His one-man show ‘Unnecessary’, takes funny a look into the life and story of Virgil, and will feature comedy that many have come to love. Much like Trevor Noah, he also takes a serious and mature look at the social ills that are rife in South Africa and the kind of problems that is simply, ‘Unnecessary’.

As for the future, Virgil says that he is well aware that he has more work to do and more room to grow but he is most definitely not afraid of the hard work. His goal is to make people laugh, and so far, he is succeeding.

If you want to catch his One Man Stand Up Comedy Special “Unnecessary”, he will be at the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City on the 30th May. You can book at Computicket.

Note: A very special thanks to Virgil Prins for taking the time to assist us with the story.

Source(s): Edited from a story at, other

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