Tonderai Zvimba, Showbiz Reporter
MULTI-AWARD-WINNING Bulawayo comedian, Mandla Da Comedian, will be hosting his first ever one-man show at Bulawayo Theatre next month.
Born in Bulawayo and hailing from Pumula South, the comedian, (real name Mandlenkosi Simbarashe Mathe) began his career in 2014. Through the Umahlekisa Comedy Club, a platform for up-and-coming comedians that gave birth to many comedians in the city, Mandla moulded his art. From there, he started winning awards, first being a National Arts and Merit Award (Nama) for being an outstanding comedian. He went on to win a Roil Bulawayo Arts Award (RoilBAA) for outstanding comedian in May this year and has been performing in various cities.
Now, Mandla Da Comedian who has become a household name is hard at work preparing for his one-man show which he hopes will be a full house.
Chronicle Showbiz caught up with him to have an appreciation of his comedy career.
Below is an interview with Showbiz Reporter Tonderai Zvimba (TZ).
TZ: What made you venture into comedy?
Mandla: Unemployment (laughs). It’s true but to a small extent. Comedy is a gift I was given by God hence I found passion in it. In 2015, I won a comedy competition at the Shoko Festival in Harare and realised that I could make a living from my talent. This is when I started taking this career seriously.
TZ: What do you think of the current state of comedy in Zimbabwe?
Mandla: It’s getting bigger and bigger, but slowly, therefore as comedians we need to soldier on and work well together.
TZ: How is it performing for the Bulawayo audience?
Mandla: The Bulawayo audience is the hardest. You really need to know what they want and how they want it, but it’s also an advantage when you go to other cities because once you kill it (perform well) in Bulawayo, you can kill it anywhere.
TZ: Did you ever think you would win an award?
Mandla: Yes, I actually said one day, I will win a Nama in front of my family some years ago and they all laughed at me. That gave me the push to achieve that goal and here we’re.
TZ: What can people expect from your one-man show?
Mandla: Well, this is a show not to be missed, it’s going to be crazy and hilarious. In short, this is going to be one of the best comedy shows in the country.
I’m one crazy kid with a big nose and sense of humour. All in all, it’s jokes with education in them as I’m an edutainer.
TZ: Where do you see yourself in two years time?
Mandla: I see myself with seven kids with different mothers (laughs). On a serious note, I see myself being listed as one of Africa’s best comedians.
TZ: What is that one career goal you want to achieve before you retire from comedy?
Mandla: My career goal is to build a school of comedy in Africa and make comedy the most paying job in Zimbabwe.