Exclusive: He sure knows how to make us laugh - getting to know Tsitsi Chiumya

His future in comedy looks promising

By  | Dec 06, 2018, 01:41 AM


In September, not only did Tsitsi win the Best Newcomer Comic Choice Award, but he also had the pleasure of being featured in Trevor Noah presents NationWild which is a 13-part comedy showcase 

Trevor handpicked all 13 comedians featured and Tsitsi was just one of the talented comedians who was picked to be on this show. ZAlebs managed to get an exclusive interview with the young comedian to find out more about him and this interesting comedic journey he's been on.

Growing up in Limpopo, who would you say is your childhood hero regarding comedy?

Childhood heroes were mostly characters from TV shows you watched, for instance, Mofokeng from Emzini Wezinsizwa, Vhelaphi on SABC. At the time it was just liking a character that makes you laugh. 

Also, funny people around a community were also fun to hang around and I was always fascinated by how well everyone treated my family members that are funny. 


Do you remember the conversation you had with your family when you explained to them that comedy is going to be your preferred career of choice?

I didn’t really have one until I was deep in, for them, I just went out a lot. I was lucky because I moved to Cape Town and there I had a lot more freedom but I was working a 9 to 5 and guest presenting tech news on Expresso which meant that I had to constantly be on the road to gigs every night and finish my work early. 

In the end, I left the job and went back home to live with my parents and my dad has always told me he will support me through whatever if I put in the effort. I think they a lot happier now, still a bit worried but it will be okay, I hope.


Previously you have mentioned that you “officially” learnt how to communicate in English once you came to Johannesburg, which was obviously a challenge, how did that whole experience affect your writing?

I think it made my writing a lot more descriptive. By rather painting pictures for the audience and not relying on vocabulary. It takes a lot longer generally for me to describe things, but I think it makes they way I talk a little more different. Hehe.

How would you describe your brand of comedy

Comedy Brand I think, “awkwardly relatable stories” for now it changes as one experiences things. Like now I’m trying to act my gag out a lot more than I used to.

A post shared by Tsitsi Chiumya (@tsitsichiumya) on

Is comedy your sole focus or perhaps you have your fingers dipped in other side projects?

Comedy is a hub of everyone and everything else I do is also related to comedy. But I also make video games from time to time.

How do you handle the attention that comes with the nature of being in the entertainment industry, hence you have mentioned that you actually do not like attention?

Being a comedian is actually a lot more chilled than being a singer or something. People generally treat you normal for the most part. Just my social media is a lot fuller than I’m used to. It’s fun, it’s always love and that’s great, it makes you happy. But otherwise, I sit indoors and play video games or work. 

Congratulations on being hand selected by Trevor Noah for his Nationwild comedy showcase, what do you think this particular opportunity will do for your career?

It’s amazing, it will expose me to a lot more people. And confirm me as a comedian to the world. Oh yeah! It will most importantly give everyone an opportunity to see if they like my comedy.

Your writing has landed you the prestigious SAFTA award, for best scriptwriting, how would you describe the transition from writing for television to writing for a live audience?

Writing for television is a lot more complicated because there are so many filters before you actually see your work. Whereas comedy, I could think of something and say it that night. Two different beats but beautiful.

Make sure you catch Trevor Noah presents NationWild featuring Tsitsi and many other up and coming comedians on Showmax by clicking right here.

Main Image Credit: Instagram/@TsitsiChiumya