Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
WHOEVER said women cannot make the cut as good comedians surely had not watched the antics of the ever smiling Gonyeti, the eccentric Mai Titi and the fascinating Madam Boss who are gradually conquering the male dominated field.
Using social media spaces such as YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp, the three ladies’ skits touching on societal issues from the eyes of a woman have proven to be popular with the masses.
The three dish out comedic content almost on a daily basis and give their audiences a peek into their lives, what they find hilarious, their fears and generally what they talk about as women.
One of them — Gonyeti — has also broken onto the stage, something that has proven difficult for Internet sensations such as Baba Tencen.
She has also managed to thrill audiences in stand up shows that she has featured in.
Reports from Harare indicate that Gonyeti held her own during the Anne Kansiime show at the Harare International conference Centre — the same event where Baba Tencen flopped.
Gonyeti showed that given a chance, women can be a force to reckon with when they are given a huge stage to prove their worth.
Posting their skits on social media, the platform has given the trio an opportunity to create their own following that they can one day use on stage.
“I think women should be given time to showcase their talents because we know we can deliver more if given a chance. I can’t really see the difference between me online and offline because I’m even worse when I’m doing a live performance as an MC than online. The online thing is just a tip of the iceberg,” said Mai Titi.
Away from the eccentric Mai Titi, she is Felistas Murata — a bubbly mother and entrepreneur involved in fashion.
“I’m a mother of two beautiful daughters and they are crazy like me. Soon people shall see them on my skits as they can act too just like my husband. In fact everyone in the family supports me even my mother who is a certified drama queen. That’s where I get my character from. Outside comedy, Mai Titi is an entrepreneur — one simple lady trying to boost her clothing line,” said Mai Titi.
Madam Boss, real name Tyra Chikocho Munetsiwa, got her name from her on screen antics where she plays a boss who ill-treats her maids.
“I’m sure most people understand that I will be acting and people like it because most of my skits are educative and some fans even phone me to thank me for helping them to desist from such a character because this is happening in real life. There’re also some who say Amai ava havaite when I’m walking on the road,” said Madam Boss.
“They must expect more entertaining skits that are educative. The most important thing is for my fans to learn from my skits. Social media has become one of the effective ways of marketing or communicating. Social media has boosted my career because I’ve a huge following now and am able to reach people internationally mostly Zimbabweans in the Diaspora”.
She said she will soon take it to the stage.
“I’m working on starting a career on stage through stand up comedy. I’m working on it a lot because it’s a different thing altogether doing it online and standing in front of people trying to make them laugh. It’s not easy. I think I will start stand up comedy when am ready not now,” said Madam Boss.
As someone who has had experience on stage with Africa’s leading female comedian Uganda’s Anne Kansiime, Gonyeti said she wants to play a leading role in many shows she will feature in.
“Actually we are told that in Zimbabwe we are the first female comedians to be cast in lead roles on a comedy show. In most TV productions, females are cast in supporting roles but with BustopTv we have lead roles. I think women should be brave enough to try new ideas,” said Gonyeti.
Besides performing with Anne Kansiime, the heavily built Gonyeti took to the stage at the Ibumba Festival Comedy night last year and did not put a foot wrong.
At the time she said: “I’m doing this because I want give hope to women who are as big as myself that they can do anything as long as they put in the work and have confidence in themselves. The world isn’t for the perfectly shaped women only, it’s also for us.”
Gonyeti said she has an off camera and stage persona that is the completely different.
“Samantha is quiet and very shy and is the opposite of Gonyeti who is very loud and sometimes a bully. Wherever I go people always expect to see Gonyeti not Samantha,” said Gonyeti.
While the trio has been enjoying the acclaim on stage, it has not been easy for another female comedian, Ms Dee (Nomsa Muleya) from Bulawayo.
Once dubbed the first female comedian in the country three years ago, Ms Dee, who is under the banner of Umahlekisa Comedy Club, said the road to stardom and acclaim has been hard.
“It hasn’t been easy although my career started off on a great note. I was the only girl, so had so much love from my colleagues and I guess I inherited their fans. I’m still growing as a comedian, still discovering and reinventing my persona as Ms Dee. The Princess was Lady D the Comic but I believe I am getting better with time,” said Ms Dee
Asked why there has not been much online presence by Ms Dee as compared to other female comedians, she said it was a money issue.
“I’m deterred by mainly the exorbitant data charges. Seriously though, it’s hard to maintain an online presence in this country. I’m, however, active on our (Umahlekisa Comedy Club) official WhatsApp group. My other social media pages or accounts (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube) will be launched simultaneously with the re-launch of the Umahlekisa website.
Article Source: The Chronicle