Blind comedian Joshua Warrior might be living in darkness but he is shedding light on life without eyesight and racism in Australia.

He had cataract surgery when he was 21 which led to retinal detachment.

The 40-year-old Adelaide resident has been completely blind for about a year.

He returned to Eyre Peninsula as part of South Australia’s Fringe Festival last month.

Joshua Warrior performs as part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival in Port Lincoln.(Supplied)

He said he was always a class clown when growing up at Mallala, 63 kilometres north of Adelaide.

He said he realised his natural “gift of the gab” had the potential to build bridges and overcome obstacles.

He said he imitated his school teachers in a comedy routine at an assembly when he was in Year 9, earning praise even from the teachers he had always clashed with.

Confronting content

He said he also experienced racism from an early age.

“I knew when I walked into a shop that I was going to be looked at and stared at,” Warrior said.

“I made sure I got my receipt, and I tell my kids too, ‘get your receipt’.

“Unfortunately, in today’s world, [with] the colour of our skin, we still get looked at, and we’ve just got to live life with our head held high, chest held out, and just remember who we are and where we came from.”

He said he was not afraid to make the audience feel uncomfortable about those issues.

Joshua Warrior played for the Mallee Park Peckers.(ABC Eyre Peninsula: Jodie Hamilton)

“I have a quick little cheap jab at it, dip my toe in and see what the reaction’s like,” Warrior said.

“It’s that subtle racism that we go through, so I put that in my comedy as that subtle kind of issue drop.”

He described himself as a storyteller, where he used a comical delivery to recount his struggling years as a single dad and going blind.

He said he started his routine poking fun at himself and then raised more confronting material.

“Through comedy, you can really break down the barriers,” Warrior said.

“Later on, it creates the conversation.”

Joshua Warrior gives a motivational speech to Mallee Park footballers.(Supplied: Mark Thomas)

Warrior said sport was a great focus for him growing up, and he spoke to Mallee Park footballers in Port Lincoln about overcoming obstacles.

“The whole family was footballers, so here at Mallee Park my uncles all played here, my Uncle Ernest, Uncle Chris and Uncle Jonathon Warrior,” he said.

He said his father left Port Lincoln after school to become a police officer and played football in the SANFL.

Warrior said he loved sport, playing football, tennis, basketball and anything else on offer.

Going blind

But that all ended when his sight became impaired.

“I was about 21, and I remember seeing a shadow in my eyesight that shouldn’t have been there,” Warrior said.

He had steroid-induced cataracts, which stemmed from steroid treatment for eczema as a child.

Sport, and particularly football, taught Joshua Warrior life lessons.(Supplied: Warrior family)

“I had really bad, chronic eczema, so I’ve been in and out of hospital all my life — a really horrific style of eczema, to the point where sometimes I’d look like a burns victim,” he said.

Once his cataracts were removed, there was a high chance he would experience retina detachment later in life.

“It was just that mine was just five, six, seven years up the road, not 20 or 30 years,” he said.

Unable to play sport he had to find new ways for stress relief.

“[Now] I really focus on the mindset because that’s pretty much where I am. I can’t really see, so I am mentally really internal,” Warrior said.

“I do a lot of meditation, little push-ups, sit-ups and squats at home to keep myself moving.”

His blindness forced him out of his career in health and wellness counselling roles and into comedy full-time.

Joshua Warrior is a regular on the Adelaide comedy scene.(ABC Eyre Peninsula: Jodie Hamilton)

Comedy career

He got his break in 2015 at the Deadly Funnies, an Indigenous National comedy show, winning the South Australian section.

In 2017, he toured London with a show called The Aboriginal Gigolo.

He has performed to sell-out audiences in Melbourne, Darwin and Perth.

“I’d like to be keeping myself busy with comedy flying around the country,” Warrior said.

“Making other people laugh or forget whatever stresses and tough stuff they’ve got on with their life because if I make you laugh, then I’m forgetting my troubles too.”

He is optimistic he will one day see again.

Joshua Warrior draws on his years as a single father in his comedy routine.(Supplied: Warrior family)

“I never thought I’d be completely blind,” he said.

“I think I’m going to be a walking miracle one day and get the eyesight back.

“But at the moment, it’s just living in darkness.”