Mon. Jul 22nd, 2019

Trippin’ With Skhumba: In conversation with Tumi Morake

Trippin With Skhumba Tumi MorakeWe wanted to know more about Tumi Morake’s experience on Trippin’ With Skhumba.

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Throughout the first season of Trippin’ With Skhumba, we visited famous comedians’ hometowns and learned more about where and how they grew up.

Showmax aired the final episode in the season this week – a live comedy event that included the six comedians, the presenter Skhumba Hlope, as well as upcoming comedians from each of the town’s visited.

The season finale was filmed back in March, and we had a chance to speak to three of the comedians, including Tumi Morake. During Tumi’s episode, the team travelled to Bloemfontein.

We wanted to know more about Tumi Morake’s experience on Trippin’ With Skhumba and met up with her backstage.

Favourite moment on Trippin’ With Skhumba

It’s always hard to pick one favourite moment, but hers had to be just spending time with Skhumba. She explains:

“When he first came on the scene and doing so well, I was a little bit afraid of him, because Skhumba moves with the confidence that borders on arrogance. It kind of feels like you’re not allowed in. But when you spend time with the guy, you realise he loves people. He genuinely wants everyone to be happy and do well.”

She said that aspect was really cool, and added that even in comedy, “we don’t know each other as well as we think we do.” Tumi said that viewers may appreciate the show, but we’ll never realise just how much comedians appreciate each other.

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The Queen of SA Comdey, Tumi Morake. Image supplied: Showmax/Justin Dingwall

Tumi Morake’s advice for aspiring comedians

According to Tumi, the key element to make it big in the industry is a hunger and ambition to push through no matter what. She explains:

“What people need to take from here is hunger. A hunger for something you want so badly.”

For all the girls out there with big dreams of making it as a comedian or actor. Tumi says girls need to make peace with the fact that we are born in a world that is already against us.

“Make peace with that and then go in there guns blazing because we’ve got nothing left to lose. Just fight. But don’t fight when you don’t feel like fighting. When you don’t feel like fighting, freakin’ just enjoy it and do your thing because half the time, I don’t even know I’m fighting. And the reason I don’t know I’m fighting is because I’m going after something I really want, I really want and I really enjoy.”

She said it’s important to “smash through everything” and set your own ceilings:

“When I start getting bored, I know it means that I’m not present. It means I’m not pushing myself and I’ve done what I set out to do. So I need to ask myself what’s next.”

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Mashabela, Celeste Ntuli, Siya Seya, Tumi Morake, Skhumba Hlope, Salesman and Schalk Bezuident on stage at the live comedy event. Photo: Showmax

On stage stand-up versus cameras rolling

We asked Tumi which scenario was more stressful: being on stage and doing a comedy show in front of an audience, or being on set with a reality show crew and cameras rolling.

She said the hardest was definitely getting on stage and speaking to an audience:

“You have to plug in to them. And not every audience will be easy to plug in to. So [laughing] I think when you’re in front of the cameras, you can switch it any way you like. You can cut it out and start again. But when you’re in a moment, you can’t redo, there’s no going back on it. You need to literally lap each and every one of those moments up.”

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Tumi Morake takes us to Bloemfontein. Image supplied: Showmax/Justin Dingwall

Promoting local content

As for Showmax going all out to boost young South African artists, Tumi said “South Africa looks really sexy to the world right now. She adds:

“It’s extra important [now more than ever] to tell our stories. It’s extra important to own our stories. On the downside, being sexy and exciting means that people get excited about your stories and the way they see them. Not your stories from your perspective.”

She said it’s vital for South Africans to start believing in our own stories, because no one else can tell our stories.

“Hopefully it will get to a point where people will pay more to see us live than to see an international act. Purely because it’s our time.”

It’s a way for South Africa, as a country, to get our self-esteem back. She says “as a country, our self-esteem is low.”

Internationally, people have so many amazing things to say about South Africa, but we don’t always realise or appreciate that back home. Tumi says shows like Trippin’ With Skhumba will remind us “just how amazing we are.”

If she had to write a short review of Trippin’ with Skhumba, it would be: “A bite-sized biography of your favourite comedians.”

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Backstage selfies. Photo: Showmax

What does the future hold for Tumi Morake

Tumi is currently in pre-production for one film, and has written two feature films. She’s also still running an art school in Johannesburg. She hopes to continue growing that and “giving hope to young people.”

As for Keeping Up With The Morake’s, Tumi says reality TV “is so much work.” She adds that it’s “really scary to be that vulnerable.”

Tumi jokes that she would let her children have a reality show of their own. “Because they think they own the world. I have a princess who not sure if she’s a dragon or a princess or a wrestler. It’s exciting to watch.”

We also met up with Celeste Ntuli and talked about how important it is for women’s stories to be heard, and for local content to be produced. Read more about that here.

Don’t miss the last episode of Trippin’ with Skhumba on Thursday, 11 April, on Showmax.

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