Maitisong’s stand up comics are definitely earning their stripes.
Tefo Ndlovu, Bafana Letsatsi and Modiri Keseabetswe performed on two dates at this year’s Maitisong Festival, where they featured their constant guest, ‘The Man’ Manake and Master, a poet who was announced to be based in Durban.
Accurately, Master spoofs the People’s Poet, Mzwakhe Mbuli. Taking jabs at Mbuli’s unfortunate episode of being convicted of an armed robbery in March 1999, a crime that he has consistently denied committing.
“The poet has robbed the businessman, oh the poet has robbed the businessman,” Master boomed in a deep throaty voice as popularised by Mbuli in the 90s. The punch line caught a few laughs as the majority of the crowd where secondary school students, young enough not have heard of Mbuli.
Mbuli was eventually released in November 2003 and writes poetry on social issues, from HIV and AIDS, political violence and corruption.
Bafana Letsatsi and Tefo Ndlovu, the only two young men from the original line-up, performed at the festival, appear more at home on stage and are perhaps executing their routines with improved timing and seeming confidence. Modiri Keseabetswe, who appeared for the second time with the club, appears to have hit the ground running.
‘The Man’ Manake has forged a good old army boy persona, (the lesole tota stereotype), that has been constant in most of his performances.
Among their routines was a running theme of funerals being an avenue where comedians earn their 15 minutes of notoriety in the village, fantastically giving eulogies of the deceased. While some of the previous material was improved, riddles that called for responses from the audience were a highlight.
On the 26th of April Tefo, Bafana, Modiri and The Man will appear in Francistown for a show that they have dubbed 15%.