The joker with serious presidential aspirations
TO many he is known as umahlekisa, others shorten his first name to call him just Ntando while others simply refer to him as Van Moyo, but for Ntandoyenkosi Moyo it is not important what he is called.
What is important to him is his dream and what he has set his sights on - which is to become a politician one day — a president for that matter.
Yes, that ever smiling standup comedian who at times spots his mischievously printed Ndebele Maker t-shirt one day envisages branching out of the entertainment world and joining the hustle and bustle of politics, even setting his eyes on the topmost job of being the country’s president.
For someone who started stand-up comedy as a pastime during his Advanced Level at Luveve High School in 2004, the journey Moyo has travelled to date is amazing.
Not only is he the brains behind the highly successful Umahlekisa Comedy Club, he has also performed alongside some great names in the comedy circles including the award winning Carl Joshua Ncube, Clive Chigubu and Edgar Langerveldt locally while regionally he has performed alongside renowned South African comedians; Riaad Moosa and Michael Naicker.
He even represented the country in the prestigious International Delphic Comedy Championships that were held at the Jo’burg Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The championships were a comedy fiesta which saw funny men from all over the globe converge to belt out what they know best.
Sunday Leisure reporter Vusumuzi Dube (VD) caught up with the comedian (NM) on the sidelines of his Wednesdays Comedy and Poetry slam at Pub Lagondola and he poured out his heart on his political aspirations. similar treatment but my advice to them is to remain strong and resolute, the entertainment industry is difficult and has its ups and downs. You never know, maybe your next performance will be the best ever.
VD: You were part of the International Delphic Comedy Championships that were held in South Africa, tell us about the experience there.
NM: South Africa was amazing. I met comics from as far as Bulgaria, Colombia, Nigeria, Ivory Coast to mention just but a few. This was the biggest stage which most of us dream of when we grew up and were young boys in this entertainment industry.
In terms of experience it was highly beneficial, at the end of the day it was not about winning the competition but a learning curve. It was an eye-opener as to how we can improve the industry locally. It showed me our flows in terms of not promoting comedy as an art.
The level of professionalism astounded me and I took note to come introduce some of what I learnt there with my colleagues in the industry. Come next year, people must expect a wholly rebranded Umahlekisa, incorporating what I learnt in South Africa.
VD: People know Ntando the comedian, can you tell us about yourself outside comedy?
NM: (Chuckles) Out of comedy I am a family man, I have a son who thinks Trevor Noah is trying to be me and a girlfriend who thinks I’m not funny at all and I should find a “paying” job.
Sporting wise I’m a Bosso and Arsenal fan, which everyone who knows me is aware of.
However, one thing which very few people know is that one day I want to be the president of this country, which has been my boyhood dream as I grew up in a village thinking presidents are given free suits every day.
VD: President of Zimbabwe, is this one of your comedy scripts or you are serious?
NM: It has always been my childhood dream to be president one day and I feel it would be ground breaking to have a comedian as a president, I mean we have a former footballer on the verge of that so I figure a man of humour and charisma would make a good leader.
I don’t care if this takes 20 or even 40 years but this is one thing which will happen one day. I know someone can laugh at this and think it is just a pipeline dream but this is something which will certainly happen one day.
VD: With 2018 fast approaching what can your fans expect from you during the last couple of months of 2017 and in the new year?
NM: With 2018 approaching the projects at hand are a comedy fiesta from 21 to 23 December where we want to bring comedians from outside Zimbabwe to create synergies so our local comedians can also travel to their countries.
During the fiesta we will also organise workshops in schools as well as conduct talent identification. One big thing I would love to do before the 2018 elections is to have a one-on-one with our President. And of course we will be doing the first ever comedy awards next year.
VD: Thank you Ntando and good luck in your future endeavours.
NM: Thank you Mr Dube, please don’t misquote me or else I will find an easy way of making money by suing you (laughs).
Ntandoyenkosi “Van” Moyo