“I’m not joking”
The Queen has hired a joker but Tumi Morake is no fool.
The Queen Mon-Thu Mzansi Magic (*161) 21:00
She loud, funny and immediately recognisable. Comedienne Tumi Morake is now coming direct to lounges across the country as Aunt Dolly, the newest face joining telenovela The Queen. And as the 35-year- old jokes, “It’s a bonus when you get to work with the Fergusons, especially Shona”…
Who is Aunt Dolly? She’s this superambitious and eccentric woman who wants to enjoy the nicer things in life. And who is she interacting with most? Connie Ferguson’s character, Harriet. She’s the queen of the Khoza empire. It’s been rewarding for me to work with Connie. She’s been in the game for years and knows her stuff inside out. She was patient and helped me when I felt insecure with my choices. She’s an actor’s actor. How did you get this role? Auditioning, how else? [Laughs] Anyone who has worked with Ferguson Films will tell you that you’d be crazy to turn down an opportunity to work in such a cool environment. I went to the audition, did my thing and they liked it. Plus, it’s popular, so it’s a no-brainer.
Being a comedienne, you’re used to the funny things in life. But Dolly’s a bit more serious, right? I am actually an actor first. Comedy found me in that realm, so that’s the point of departure – everyone thinks I’m a stand-up, but I’ve been acting for a some time. Does Dolly crack a laugh or two? It’s not so much what she says, but what she does. The comedy is in her reactions to situations in the Khoza mansion. The funny stuff is the “you had to be there” stuff. I always looked forward to Shona [Ferguson who stars as detective Jerry as well as produces the show with his real-lie wife Connie] checking in on his lady so that I could go in for that hug. He gives bear hugs. I love bear hugs. I considered it part of my pay. What’s harder: doing a scripted soapie where you’re playing a character or getting up on stage doing stand-up comedy? Following scripts, remembering your choices for your character and following technical directions. It’s especially hard when you have been away from the medium for some time. You sound like you had a lot of fun on the show? And I still am. I really appreciated the humility, the light-hearted vibe and the way they just welcome you into the fold. And when they get down to business, make no mistake: it’s proper show time!
Tumi Morake’s excited about being on a soap – and working with Shona Ferguson.