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Ashifa Shabba is more than just a comedian

By Faeza
12 August 2016

Comedian and radio personality, Shonisani Muleya (41) popularly known as Ashifa Shabba, says he is born into a family of two generation of comedians. His father Peter Nemaenzhe and late grandfather Samuel were known as the comedians in the family. Ashifa Shabba tells Move! that his relationship with radio goes back as far as the 1980s. He says when the late Bahamas preacher Dr Myles Munroe visited radio TNT (Technikon Northern Transvaal), a campus radio station he was working at as a student back in 1995, Monroe prophesied that he will one day own a radio station and today he does.

OWNING RADIO STATIONS

Ashifa Shabba is also a shareholder at Power FM and Capricorn FM and also a founder of Energy FM in Polokwane and Choice FM in Venda. He adds that even though he is very busy he is a hands-on dad and co-parents his daughter with ex-wife Vhonani Neluvhalani whom he parted ways with last year, two years into their marriage. He tells Move! that he has a good relationship with his ex-wife. After the divorce, he decided to live life to the fullest and wait for God to guide him to find another partner.

FATHERHOOD

“My kids and I get along very well. My first born Mukundisi is 16, Tshimangadzo is 5 and Unarine is 6 months old,” he says. “I call them my three comrades and they call me daddy. Our bond is stronger than super glue.” He adds that he understands life is unpredictable and that it's not a comedy session. That's why he doesn’t take life for granted and lives to the fullest.

GROWING UP AS A KID

Ashifa Shabba grew up in Makwarela, a township in Venda, where he was raised by his grandmother after his parents divorced. He was very naughty and made fun of every serious situation that's why he's able to deal with tough situations through comedy. “My family had a shebeen which operated from home so I grew up in a loud environment and I believe that’s where the love for radio comes from,” he says.

“My relationship with radio began when I started making sense of what that box powered with batteries is all about. Hearing people talk and not seeing them fascinated me so much I literally opened my mother’s radio set to see who was inside.” He says he got to see the electronics inside a radio set which excited him. “I could actually see how the radio mechanism searches for stations as it goes from 88 to 108 MHz on FM,” he explains. He says he never thought that today he would be a radio station owner, comedian, entertainer, and a community builder.

WHAT'S IN THE PIPE-LINE

Ashifa Shabba is currently working on the new season of Ashifashabba Comedy Show which will air on SABC 2. “We are working round the clock to put together a tailor-made show for South African families. This show will resonate with every black family,” he laughs.