This is a man who has been awarded the status of the funniest comedian in Zimbabwe by Comedy Central Africa and it’s hard to argue with that! He has featured at some of South Africa’s leading comedy clubs such as Parkers Comedy and Jive, Goliath Comedy Club and the Capetown Comedy Club and has proudly flown the Zimbabwean flag high in the diaspora. His work has broken many barriers in the stand-up comedy industry in Zimbabwe and he has inspired many upcoming comedians to ‘own their funny’. We caught up with this funny larger than life character to get to know him a little better. By: Mutsa Gunda
In your own words, who is Carl Joshua Ncube?
In my own words I was created by God to create things that make people FEEL GOOD, my last name is TINODAVANHU which means I love people.
Were you born and bred in Zimbabwe?
Yes I was born to 2 teachers Miriam Nyemba, my mom (a home economics lecturer) and late father Charles Ncube (wood work, technical graphics teacher and part time comedian). They split up when I was about 5 yrs old and I spent most of my childhood going between mom and dad and relatives so I lived and went to school in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and Marondera
What kind of teenager were you, were you ‘that’ funny guy in class?
I always had a bad reputation of being talkative, most of my school reports would say I was clever but I was disruptive in class from a noise perspective. I didn’t think I was the funny one because I always had funny friends.
Do you consider yourself funny? Tell us more about your career choice.
Well now I am a comedian so I only know I am funny because of how people laugh at shows. Although, besides being able to come up with funny ideas, comedy has a whole other technical process that separates everyone who thinks they are just funny and those pursuing the craft of standup comedy.
What is your greatest fear before any show?
I get really nervous about forgetting what I plan to say. Especially when I have to do new material that I have not tried and tested in audiences on tour. But generally I get nervous before every show and I mean I spend more time in the toilet in the run up to any show.
May you please tell us more about the other work you do besides being a standup comedian
So I am a graphic designer, web developer, television producer and director, love to film and do photography –I’m a motivational speaker, business development consultant, marketing genius (yes genius). Feel Good Africa is a project to spread positive images of Africa to the world. That happens through Art, Cooking, Comedy, Innovation, Motivational Talks and Business Development.
We understand you studied something totally different from your current line of work, tell us about that.
So in the 90’s after school my parents sent me to England to study nursing. Long and short of it ‘I am a nursing drop out’.
Give us 3 women who motivate and inspire you.
My mom is an entrepreneur and hard worker – I certainly modeled my life around her work ethic and it is the hallmark of what I do. My wife is super awesome – she is not afraid to have things go her way. I mean she takes a no and panel beats it until it starts looking like a yes. What most people don’t know is that her name is NETSAYI; now that’s PERSISTENCE personified. My third ‘inspirator’ is BEYONCE without a doubt, she shows me that what we do for a living is exactly that; FOR A LIVING! She puts everything into her craft. My wife and I study everything she does (we don’t try to replicate the dancing of course)
You and Nelsy Ncube exhibit signs of what we call a ‘Power Couple’ seeing that she is your manager. Do you agree with that label?
We are definitely a POWER COUPLE. Our strongest attribute is that when things are toughest is when we are FORMIDABLE. No-one knows how to handle NEGATIVE and turning into POSITIVE like #teamNCUBE. I sometimes look at what we achieve together and am like WHAAAAAAT?????? Truth is GOD put us together and we celebrate that by being the best TEAM we can be. We don’t copy what other people do – we use our own rules and we do what makes us happy. That’s most important!
You strike us as a very romantic man, from your own experience, what makes a good relationship?
I wouldn’t say I am romantic. I just love my wife and I express it to her in the day to day stuff, like in the morning when we wake up she needs to know how I am feeling that day about us and what I would like to feel during the day. We work together so we always have to keep things interesting but most importantly honest.
When you and your wife had a miscarriage you still seemed strong in the face of the fans. Lately you have been bashed by ‘slay queens’ who sometimes say really negative things about you, you simply use this as content for your work in the most hilarious way. Is there anything that really gets you down?
I think what people have to remember is that I am human. We are all human. We don’t try to act like we aren’t. Our miscarriage was devastating but we also remembered God controls life and death, we have had loss and so much in the last couple of years from baby to Nelsy’s mom, brother, my dad but these things everyone else goes through and so being honest about it helped us get so much support from people but also perspective that we were not alone. Regarding the slay queens*Laughs* …people tend to get offended when stuff has nothing to do with them. Firstly I am a comedian, people are hypocrites’ because when I am making fun of other groups of people then its ha ha ha Carl you are funny, when the shoe starts fitting a bit more then you get offended. *Laughs*. The truth is I just write jokes – I am not even emotionally invested in my jokes as the people who are offended by them. So when they are insulting me online they are just adding more work to me repertoire and I make more money still whether it’s the publicity they are giving my joke or just the stupidity of thinking voicing their offence is. That’s like trying to interrupt a comedian in a club, you are the one that gets embarrassed but the comedian still gets paid.
Following your work and vlog, tell us more about Chef Carl, is it safe to call you that?
Absolutely I am a CHEF!!!!!
What would you like to tell us that we don’t know about you?
You haven’t seen the WOODWORK, METAL WORK HANDY MAN side of me yet!! That’s one thing I really enjoy which is fixing stuff, making stuff; even using some skills I learnt from my mother like knitting and sewing…
Lastly…words of advice.
I think if we just learn to laugh at ourselves we become more confident people.