By Tafadzwa Zimoyo
“I am still a village girl who grew up in Madziva. Not many people know that I was once a housemaid. I started working as a housemaid after completing Grade 7 because my mother who was sick could no longer fend for me. She later died and it was hard and painful for me.
“I worked in Madziva before relocating to South Africa where I again worked as a maid. I came back to Harare and stayed in Budiriro with my aunt, where I worked in an internet cafe.
“The skits you see depict my real life. While in Madziva, some people thought this maid is crazy, but you know, situations create habits.”
This is the story of popular actress Madam Boss as she narrated it on Wednesday. It is a bitter-sweet story. It exudes sadness in as much as it is inspirational and somewhat comical. She is a talented comedienne and obviously spices the tale with some jokes. But hers is a typical rags to riches story.
Madam Boss is her most popular moniker, but she is also known as the hilarious Dudzai, a maid with endless comic stunts.
Her real name is Tyra Chikocho.
If you visit her homestead and ask for Tyra Chikocho, it is highly unlikely that you will easily get a quick response. But the moment you say Dudzai or Madam Boss, the response would be prompt.
For those who do not know Dudzai, she is a maid in comical skits played by Chikocho.
Watching those skits, one will either hate or love housemaids.
To date Chikocho has many faces and is known in various circles as a comedian, musician, corporate brand ambassador, businesswoman, fashionista and housewife.
She recently opened her new shop named after her Madam Boss moniker. The boutique sells lingerie, make up products, clothes and perfumes among a coterie of fashion accessories.
Saturday Herald Lifestyle visited the 34-year-old actress at her shop which is situated at the corner of Fife Avenue and Mazowe Street. The moment you step in the store, she welcomes you with a big smile and starts to crack jokes — if it’s not about you, that’s if she knows you personally, she will crack a joke to make you feel comfortable.
With a lot of accolades, huge fan base on social media and a lot of endorsements, she is just humble and lovable.
“I grew up in Madziva and we were taught good manners. The secret is to smile to everyone,” she said. Madam Boss said the hardest thing she has done in her career is to put maids in the limelight and to make her husband Ngoni (Mhofela) appreciate the role of skits.
“I have the most incredible fans in the world and I want to thank them for pushing me professionally, emotionally and financially. When we started these Madam Boss skits, I was the tough bully boss landlady acting together with Ngoni’s cousin sister Miranda as the maid.
‘‘One day Miranda was not available and Ngoni asked me to replace the maid since I was once one and had the experience. He then asked my sister’s daughter, Tsitsi, to act as the boss lady,” she said.
She said they decided to take that route because they wanted to portray cruel maids.
“What you see in Dudzai, is the actual truth. I remember back then in the village where I worked as a maid. I was very cruel but my employer turned a blind eye,” she said.
Ngoni took the role of his wife’s manager after she understood her trade.
“I met Ngoni through his best friend, I didn’t know him personally. He was wearing a red shirt and it fitted him perfectly well. I fell in love at first sight and I asked his friend to initiate our relationship. Fortunately, the friend told me that the guy was also interested in me. The rest is history,” she said.
The dimpled star said, at first, her husband didn’t understand what she wanted to do but, today he is the one who writes scripts.
“Some of our skits are written by Ngoni. Like I said before it was hard for him to accept my chosen career. My relatives from both sides are very supportive.
“Ngoni’s family accepted me as I am. I am still their decent daughter-in-law. My mother-in-law actually calls me daily asking what’s new on skits. They actually put pressure and this has motivated me a lot. They are my number one fans,” she said.
Madam Boss said her mother-in-law made her strong during the time when she was blasted on social media.
“There is a lot that happened in my life on social media. A lot has been said and you know what that means but my mother-in-law and husband fully supported me. Ngoni always says, don’t respond, do this and I respect that because I am a married woman so my husband’s decision comes first,” she said.
Despite her busy schedule, Madam Boss always finds time to assist people from various communities.
“I have a lot of projects I am working on. I do charity work. Not many know that I am paying school fees for some children in Madziva. I would not want to say much on it, but I have been reaching out to many underprivileged people.
On reports that she bleached her skin, Madam Boss could neither deny nor confirm.
“I grew up in rural areas and honestly speaking you expect me to remain dark, smelling three-legged pot smoke? I come to Harare and you expect me to be the same? Of cause like other girls we used to apply Movate, Diprison and Caro Light among others. Now I know what to apply and obviously I like to brighten up my complexion. I am not dark but light, so I need to maintain that,” she said.
Apart from having her own eye-lashes and lipstick range in her name, Madam Boss revealed that she is working on her perfume range which is being processed in Dubai.
The diva said she was inspired by United States businesswoman and musician “Queen B”, Beyonce as well as renowned filmmaker Tyler Perry. “I love Beyonce and Tyler Perry. I am working on my bio-film. Unfortunately, due to financial constraints it is going to take long. One of my dreams would be to meet Beyonce,” she said.
Madam Boss has one daughter and says at home she loves to cook junk food and Ngoni loves “nzondora”. The Herald