Comedian, Creative, Raconteur
Award winning comedian James Nokise is a versatile speaker, acclaimed theatre maker, playwright, columnist, renowned social commentator and…. fried chicken conversationalist, connecting audiences with an abrupt humour and earnest insight. Winner of the New Zealand Fred Award in 2021 and 5 stars in The Scotsman, Nokise is a home favourite with international success.
James Nokise is on a mission to connect. His critically acclaimed podcast Eating Fried Chicken on Radio New Zealand sees him interviewing celebrities while sharing kai together. Nokise effortlessly creates an intimate environment for both guests and listeners alike, approaching tough subjects like mental health, culture and religion. In 2020, Eating Fried Chicken was a finalist for Best Podcast at the Voyager Awards.
He has toured in Edinburgh, Perth and New York City with the International Fringe Festival, is the founder of No Fefe Theatre Collective, and in 2016 became the very first comedian to travel to the Festival of Pacific Arts as part of the New Zealand delegation. Leaving New Zealand, he acquired a more holistic view of his country and the structures built within and now has a better understanding of how to talk to that community. Nokise doesn’t just want to make people laugh, he wants to understand them, open space for them, and bring them joy… while making them laugh.
From performing poetry at Glastonbury music festival during Brexit, to creating an 8 part series, Yours Faithfully, an NZ on demand project exploring different religious perspectives in Aotearoa, to his latest 6 part documentary series on Pacific Rugby in an international setting, Nokise can speak on anything with dedicated passion, nuanced research and activated joy.
Known for speaking on mental health, Nokise is specific in his kaupapa of normalising the subject by keeping it light. He sets his audience at ease with his trusting nature and engaging rapport. Using his skills in comedy, writing and interviewing, Nokise encourages and activates his audience in a tailored outcome specific to them.
Wellington, New Zealand
Comedy Host, Compere/MC, Judge, Keynote Speaker, Mimic & Impersonator, Panellist
Conservation / Environment, Film & Television, Food & Wine, Music, Stand up comedy, Theatre
Arts and Activism, Comedic Travel Stories, Mental Health, Multiculturalism
|2021||40 Years of Community Access Radio, NZ on Air - MC|
40 Years of Access Radio
NZ On Air and CAMA ( Community Access Media Alliance) had an important date to celebrate – 40 years of Access radio and the launch of a book… about 40 years of Access radio. The Minister of Broadcasting and Media Hon. Kris Faafoi was hosting the event at Parliament, a colourful group of people from access radio, government, media and community groups were invited – and we needed someone very special to make it all work. James Nokise was our choice because he had great connections into access radio, and frankly, he’s funny. James brought to our event a lovely warmth and appreciation for access radio that was genuine. We loved that he was able to just roll with it when people went off script. The feedback from many of our guests was that James was a fabulous choice of MC – and we agree. By the end of the night it felt like he was a friend for life, for everyone in the room.
Allanah Kalafatelis | Head of Communications
NZ On Air