Stand up comedian Chigubu rises
With his cherubic face and stunning punch lines delivered in a matter of fact kind of way, stealing the show is something that Clive Chigubu (CG) does very often. The Financial Gazette’s sat down with the 23-year-old stand-up comedian to discuss his blossoming career, family and latest important projects. Excerpts:
AK: When did you start and what happened to your partner in comedy?
CG: Beginning right after school in 2008, I formed Jeepers Makers with one Mayibongwe Sibanda, a comedy act directed by Tswarelo Mothobe that went on to win Amakhosi Dreams to Fame competition in 2009. But Mayi went to South Africa and I was forced to do a one man thing starting with performances at the Green Room at Bulawayo Theatre in 2010. Later I shared the stage with Carl Joshua Ncube at Ibumba Festival and the Intwasa Arts Festival in 2011. May I also mention that in 2010 I was doing a one hour special at Amakhosi live at Elite 400. Man, I had one of the biggest audiences with close to 250 people almost filling up the 300-seater auditorium. Then the 51 percent comedy show at HIFA last month, which was quite an experience for my first time out.
AK: Clive, comedy is quite possibly difficult in terms of making a living out of it. What does your mum say?
CG: She says “Son, I know you are doing ok but can you get a real job?” I love my mum but this is my life and I will die trying. And if I got to study further, I want to study at a school of comedy.
AK: Are there schools of comedy?
CG: Yes, online.
AK: Clive, you are on record acknowledging the debt of gratitude you owe to poet, Tswarelo Mothobe for guiding you as you started. You have also mentioned Babongile Sikhonjwa, which other influences have you had in your eventful career?
CG: It’s got to be Edgar Langeveldt, Trevor Noah and David Chappelle.
AK: Where do you get the humour from though?
CG: I live with the funniest family. My grandmother is funny. She has a funny way of saying things especially in English. I guess that’s probably where my comic streak comes from. We are always laughing. But my grandmother also taught me to respect God and not to love too many women. Just last week I was at Harvest House church where I performed but I had to censor myself. So let the pastors open the verses and I do the laughs.
AK: So is life one big laugh for you?
CG: No. Clive on stage is one of the craziest guys. But Clive has bad days just like everybody else. I mean there are two Clives. The on stage persona is one way of dealing with life and helping people laugh. But I have my moments also. Sometimes I am at a funeral and someone says to me “tell me a joke” and I am like, dude, we are at a funeral. As comics we’re so frustrated also and maybe that’s why we do this thing.
AK: You deal with ghetto life plus tribal hang ups and idiosyncrasies in your material. What have been your experiences?
CG: I have wide acceptance. When I go to Harare, audiences love me and I also get folks from Bulawayo coming to me saying uyarepresenta. I am from the townships so I talk about the life there. My mom is Ndebele and dad Shona. I wonder though, how my mom got conned by a guy with a name called Chigubu! (Laughing)
AK: How do you cross a Ndebele guy?
CG: Don’t take a Ndebele guy’s woman.
AK: How about a Shona guy?
CG: Never borrow money from a Shona guy.
AK: Latest projects?
CG: Watch out for the Clive Chigubu Show I am launching soon and a television show called A Comic Called Clive, which is one hour long.