Fight like a girl

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It’s not often you hear a feminist activist say she “bloody loves Donald Trump’’.

But as Sajeela Kershi points out, he’s given people “something to fight against’’.

“It used to be when you banned a song on the radio, it became really popular,’’ she laughs.

“He’s banning Muslims, Mexicans, immigrants, he’s making us popular.’’

The British activist and funny-woman is bringing her aptly-titled ‘Fights Like a Girl’ show to Queenstown next Wednesday.

The show was inspired by the 2017 Women’s March in London, where Kershi was invited to be a key speaker.

“America was getting Madonna, and I’m like ‘nobody knows who I am, there must have been a mistake’.’’

While the global protest was sparked by the election of Donald Trump, Kershi says the movement is bigger than him.

“We’d all had enough, I think.’’

While she hits out at Trump, she also takes pot-shots at Barack Obama.

“There were more deaths under his foreign policy, but he came in a pretty package.’’

She’s been in comedy for about 15 years, but says she came to it a little later than she would’ve liked.

“I wanted to perform, I wanted to be an actress, but that was frowned upon.

“There’s these stereotypes about South-East Asians, that they’re doctors and lawyers, and that’s because of that first generation of immigrants who had three priorities: having a roof over their heads, food on the table and clothes on their backs, and they don’t want their children to have the same struggles.

“But they don’t account for people who want to go into the arts, like myself, or who have their own dreams and aspirations.’’

Comedy “hit all the buttons’’ for her — but giving her shows a social message isn’t something that happened straight away.

“I used to do club gigs, with pissed up stags and hens, and having to placate them, and I thought ‘I have this platform, there’s gotta be more that I can do’. I don’t want to waste that space.

“I’m not expecting to change the world in an hour, but if you just make people think, after the show, that’s going to nurture my soul more than just offering a couple of knob gags.’’

To catch Sajeela Kershi, head to Sherwood, next Wednesday, 7pm, koha on the night.