Five minutes with Tumi Morake and Ndumiso Lindi

Comedians Tumi Morake and Ndumiso Lindi
Comedians Tumi Morake and Ndumiso Lindi

Comedians Tumi Morake and Ndumiso Lindi created the stand-up comedy show, Married…But Not To Each Other last year. The show sees the two exchange banter and engage with the audience for a risqué and hilarious take on relationships. The 2019 season kicks off on 24 May  at the Soweto Theatre. We caught up with the duo for a chat:

How did you know you were funny?

Tumi Morake (TM): I’ve always known I had a good sense of humour, and when I found out about stand-up comedy, I saw it as a chance to use my gift. However, I don’t make a fool of myself. There is a huge difference between a clown and a comedian.

Ndumiso Lindi (NL): Coming from Eastern Cape, I didn’t know what stand-up comedy was. It’s thanks to my best friend Molete Mathaba, who is the one who introduced it to me and forced me to do it because he thought I was just naturally funny. Also, being funny on- and off-stage are two different things.

What is it like being female comedian?

TM: There will always be too few of us, but it is also advantageous because we stand out.

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How much time does it take to prepare for a show?

TM: Forever! Comedy is a continuous process of writing and expanding jokes. Sometimes your brain goes on holiday, exactly when you need to come up with new gags. 

NL: It takes a lot of club shows. Comedians go to comedy clubs to test and grow a set. The more you do, it the richer it gets. Stage time is very important – comedy clubs are like Virgin Active to us! 

Best gag you have ever written? Why?

TM: My favourite has always been about how my kids were born. I thought it was rather clever to equate a C-section to cutting through a border fence. 

NL: My Madiba Jive song is one of them. People still request that gag even today. Another one is the Zulu Black Mambazo gag, where I do that whole joke singing isicathamiya, but they’re having a conversation.

What process do you use to develop your comedy material?

TM: I don't really have one. If I feel blocked, I read and go out of my way to brainstorm stuff. Other times, I jump on a stage and test stuff before a big show.

NL: Because I’m from an advertising background, I create a concept and challenge myself to come up with ideas that go with it. Sometimes And sometimes it’s about harnessing the random thoughts floating in my head. Comedians are always in their heads. There are moments when you just have to improvise!

READ MORE: “I no longer hold back, nor do I doubt myself,” - Zoe Mthiyane

What are your plans for the future?

TM: I hope I don't get bored with comedy, and continue to travel the world.

NL: I’m coming up with conceptual shows I’ve always wanted to do. This collaboration with Tumi is one of them. I want to work with other comedians, too. I have a one-man show coming up in July called Boys Don’t Cry in July dedicated to my Dad since we lost him last year July.

What qualities do other comedians have that you admire?

TM: Bulletproof people like Skhumba have comedy coming out of their pores. The ever energetic Mpho Popps is so cool, and Celeste Ntuli is a force to be reckoned with.

NL: Their work ethic, and how they are able to grow their shows from nothing to selling out arenas. 

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