Tumi Morake: The renaissance female comedian

Tumi Morake: The renaissance female comedian

Sep 02, 2013, 11:43 AM

Regarded as the funniest female comedian to ever grace the South African stand-up comedy circuit, Tumi Morake took the time to speak to ZAlebs about her recent tour in Edinburgh, the Comics Choice Awards and how she feels about her recent role in Mzansi Magic’s Rockville.
 
As she picks up the phone we hear that Tumi is slightly irritated, we immediately hope that her manager had informed her about our call but the humouruous comedian assured us that it was not us who had irked her (Phew!) but some individual who was being difficult for no particular reason.  Breaking in a sweat we calm down and proceed with our telephonic conversation.
 
Last week Tumi was honoured with the Mbokodo Award in the comedy category. Now, when we interviewed David Kau at the Comics Choice Awards he mentioned that awards did not change his life in anyway, it was interesting to hear Tumi’s comment on what it meant for her to receive the Mbokodo Award.
 
“This award re-assures me that people notice and admire my work, it’s like a word of encouragement. I fell like people are saying ‘KEEP GOING YOU’RE DOING IT RIGHT WOOHOO!’  So it’s exciting on that level I mean to just be recognized is really awesome.  I think I’ve taken my success as a female comedian very lightly until this came up and it just made me realise that in the history of this industry we haven’t had many females staying, we’ve had amazing talent but not many of them have stayed for the long role but I’ve been fortunate enough to have lasted this long.”
 
We jokingly mentioned that we were not impressed with her not attending the 3rd Annual Comics Choice Awards two weeks ago as we were very eager to meet her.  In the highest pitch she could reach Tumi exclaimed: “What! Why?” but fortunately because of her hilarious skit as “Bra Gibbs” which was featured in the awards we let her off the hook.

 
“Ja, I knew my people were not going to be happy with my absence so I thought let me record this skit for my people” she said. 
Tumi received raving reviews with her latest stand-up comedy show titled HER Story which also gave her the opportunity to perform in Edinburgh, Scotland we asked the comedian how the reaction was performing in a foreign country:
 
“Obviously here at home they loved it but the first week in Edingburgh was hell for me because HER Story is such a unique signature, it’s so me in language, in reference in just everything and then I arrive in the UK where I’ve never performed before and realise oh my gosh I have to find new ways of telling my story because this new audience isn’t relating to what I’m saying.  But right now I love HER Story and in fact now I feel it should tour the country but before I left Edinburgh I was quite pleased with myself because I realized that finally I have a product that I can sell across the board and not just at home.”
 
Every Wednesday at 19:00 on Mzansi Magic we see Tumi sharpen her acting skills on the local Drama series Rockville as gossip monger ‘Portia’ acting alongside acting veterans such as Connie Ferguson, ZAlebs asked how comfortable she was with acting with such a star studded cast:
 
“I was proud to be part of a project that was actually this successful and the reason why I agreed to do the project is because I found out who the director and producer of Rockville was.  I had never worked with the Ferguson’s before but the idea of working with Johnny Barbuzano again got me all excited and I just couldn’t say no I think they’re fantastic people.  The only thing that’s been irritating me about acting is that people have this perception of ‘oh now this comedian wants to be an actor’ but people tend to forget that I’ve always been an actress; comedy happened by accident it was never part of the plan.  I’ve always wanted to be an actress hence that is why I studied drama, so I’m doing what I intended to be doing when I came to Johannesburg.  So I felt very much at home and I had to get over being star struck over Connie and Shona with all his FINESS! ”
 
Tumi also expressed great interest in working with Anele Mdoda again if given the opportunity as they’ve have great chemistry when working together.
 
ZAlebs really hopes such collaboration occurs, both ladies have proven how hilarious they can be when it comes to stand-up comedy.  Make sure you visit tumi’s site at www.tumimorake.co.za to find out where she’s performing next.
Written by

ZAlebs Team

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