Donovan Goliath, the well-known comedian and now actor actually started off with an art & advertising background.
But he grew tired of feeling like a hamster on a wheel in the creative advertising space.
“I felt like I was on a conveyor belt, constantly churning out ideas and working for someone else but seeing none of the rewards,” he shared with Sumitra.
Starting off in the advertising space meant Donovan earned just R 4000 a month, rented in an incredibly tiny space, still sending money back home.
“I wasn’t saving at all. I was basically living hand to mouth. Going into comedy, brought back the butterflies in my tummy. I felt that spark again. I was also able to put a number to my work. As I built my brand and reputation, I could determine what my fee was.”
In advertising, I was always working overtime but I wasn’t getting paid for overtime. Starting in the advertising industry meant Donovan was an intern, needing to find his feet and establish his space in the field.
“The industry is tough to break into, it’s only when you win awards for a campaign or you build a campaign for a client that they are happy with that you can actually negotiate your salary.”
Growing up, Donovan’s family didn’t have much and money wasn’t a topic they opened up about. If his parents struggled they did so without anyone knowing about it.
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He had to learn everything he did about managing his finances on his own. Managing his budgets, cleaning up his expenses, and learning how to save.
Moving to a big city from a small town in Mthatha was a big change for the comedian. With no one to reach out to for help, he is from the school of hard knocks but it’s this background that has shaped him into the well-known funny guy he is now.
His collaboration with Jason Goliath helped him on his venture into comedy on a full-time basis. The former insurance broker and Kaya Breakfast show host also reinvented himself and took the gamble to get into comedy and fast established his brand and name in the South African comedy scene.