Firimoni, the on-screen boyfriend of Madhumbe in the Gringo series says he failed to capitalise on his fame and is now back to his old job as a driver. Firimoni, real name, Fanuel Tonganayi, said this week he found it tough going after the series ended. He is a driver at the ZBC.
Tonganayi relishes the good old days when people would religiously follow the Gringo series. He misses his on-set girlfriend, Madhumbe, who is now based in Canada. Madhumbe is now a musician with a Mbira outfit.
“We had not met (with Madhumbe) before the comedy, but we became close after a number of episodes. I miss her so much,” said Tonganayi. He said the bond that had been created between him and Madhumbe was strong. “I cried when she came to Zimbabwe recently because she went back without saying goodbye.”
Firimoni explains how he began comedy : “There was need for someone who would act as a dud and surely I was selected because ndaingoita kunge bharanzi bharanzi (I looked very dull at the time). Being quiet was one of the features that took me to this level, but the only problem is that I did not manage to create links beyond the Gringo series. When I walk in the streets everyone laughs at me because of that role.”
The actor, however, said his character on the set was far from his real life character. He said the person who was initially supposed to assume the Firimoni role proved “too clever” for the character.
In one interesting episode, Firimoni was asked to remove tree leaves that had fallen onto the roof of Gweshegweshe’s house. Because Firimoni had earlier on claimed to be a soldier Gringo took away the ladder Firimoni had used to go up the roof to test his wit. Firimoni had to sleep on the roof.
Born in 1983, Tonganayi did primary and secondary education in Bindura before coming to Harare where he got a job as a driver in 1999. Tonganayi is married, but has no children. NewsDay
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