Trevor Noah celebrates 40th birthday by inviting his best friends to his ‘What Now?’ podcast

Trevor Noah sits down with Anele Mdoda and Sizwe Dhlomo on his ‘What Now?’ podcast. Picture: Instagram

Trevor Noah sits down with Anele Mdoda and Sizwe Dhlomo on his ‘What Now?’ podcast. Picture: Instagram

Published Feb 23, 2024


Irrespective of where in the world he is, South African export Trevor Noah makes sure he comes home for his birthday to celebrate with his closest circle.

According to Noah, it doesn’t matter what they do; all he wants is to be surrounded by his friends.

In celebrating his milestone birthday, Noah gathered his best friends, award-winning radio personalities Anele Mdoda and Sizwe Dhlomo, with best-selling author Khaya Dlanga behind the scenes to shoot a special episode of his podcast “What Now? with Trevor Noah”.

In the pre-recorded episode, which is sub-titled “Trevor and Friends: Trevor Turns 40!”, Noah, Mdoda and Dlomo debate over whether birthdays even matter, whether it’s possible to reinvent yourself and whether Noah’s age influenced him to leave “The Daily Show”.

The Grammy-host said: “My birthday is upon me. This is my 40th birthday. Everyone tells me that it’s a special birthday, I don’t necessarily feel that.

“I try to come home for my birthday. Everyone asked me what I’m going to do and I say ‘as long as I’m with my friends’, and people think I’m giving a beauty pageant answer, but I genuinely don’t care about a party, I don’t care about an activity, I don’t care.

“All I want to do is spend my birthday with my people. Do you know what I mean?”

Meanwhile, Mdoda’s birthday in May includes throwing an elaborate celebration, which will probably see about 50 to 150 people being invited.

Dlomo, on the other hand, only celebrates his childhood birthdays with his family.

“I didn’t even know you could hang out with people who weren’t your family, really. Whenever we had a party, all the cousins would come over.”

Noah went on to say that he has never had a big celebration because of his upbringing.

“When I was growing up, the only rule in my household once you were old enough to be functioning by yourself (13 and up) ... you were now responsible for your birthday and for getting things for everyone else in the family, like the cakes, drinks, candy.”

He went on to share that every year as he grows older he notices just a few things different.

“I don’t know what it is about birthdays that people like. Every year I just notice that I’m physically slower ... a few things hurt a little bit more, and then what?”

Mdoda then asked the guys how they measure their life if their birthdays don’t matter.

“They do matter, but they just not as significant as people make them out to be,” responded Dlomo.

Noah chippeds in: “I don’t understand why people celebrate birthdays, and I’ll explain why.

“I do not think that we live in a time any longer were it’s a surprise that you’ve made it another year. If we were gangsters or if we where living in a wore-torn region, I would say birthdays are very significant. It would be like ‘Yo, you did it man, you did it’.

“I actually found that I measure my year and my life in my own increments and in my own moments. My mom chose to have a C-section, she chose my birthday, so I can choose my birthday, too.”

The rest of the podcast offered plenty of laughs from the three, who have shared a friendship spanning over two decades.

∎ The full podcast is available on Apple Podcasts.