Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

How a DJ who demanded a bribe sparked the rise of comedian Taffy Theman

By Lance Guma

From his base in Australia, multi-talented 29-year-old Tafadzwa Ngubozabo a.k.a Taffy Theman has created hilarious videos targeting President Emmerson Mnangagwa, his predecessor Robert Mugabe, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga and many others in the Zanu PF regime.

Tafadzwa Ngubozabo a.k.a Taffy Theman
Tafadzwa Ngubozabo a.k.a Taffy Theman

Even those in the opposition have not been spared. His opening line ‘Nhau dzichiverengwa neni – the news read by me” endeared him to thousands who soon followed him online. The aptitude he displays in analysing current affairs in Zimbabwe and turning this into skits is impressive.

But we might not have been blessed to see his talents in action had it not been for a DJ who demanded a bribe to play his music. In an exclusive interview with Nehanda Radio, we asked Taffy to explain how he was able to combine comedy and music in his skits.

Tafadzwa Ngubozabo a.k.a Taffy Theman
Tafadzwa Ngubozabo a.k.a Taffy Theman

“Yes, a decade ago I tried my luck with music but it didn’t pay off. I was doing Rap music. I gave it all up when a Radio DJ demanded a bribe if I wanted my music to be played on radio. Back then there were only 4 radio stations as you know and Rap music was only played on Power FM.

“I gave the DJ half of what he had demanded (because that’s all I had). He took the money but still didn’t play my music. So I got heart broken and quit music permanently. From that day till now I have no ambition to ever take up music professionally. I only do it for comedy purposes.’

The moto on his YouTube channel says “challenging Zimbabweans and Africa to think outside the box with comic and satirical videos. Let’s have fun and learn together.” So what motivated Taffy Theman to go into comedy? The answer will shock you, yes it just happened by accident.

“My first ever skit was in August last year (2018), I did a “Chigumba challenge” during the announcement of election results. Justice Chigumba was trending online and Zimbos were making fun of her with comic videos, so I just decided to join in, just for the fun of it.

“The response I got was beyond my wildest expectations. I did another skit a month later, the famous “kujamba weti uchinowira pa…” That is when I realised I can do comedy. That skit went viral and I had many people inboxing, asking me to take comedy seriously. They said I had brought a different look and style to comedy. That is how Taffy Theman was born.”

The political commentary in his skits is very intelligent and deadly funny. In the “Gwudhara gwuno famba ugu…Enzo Ayshall Parody” he picks on Mnangagwa’s endless trips abroad with nothing to show for the money gobbled up. He even suggests an airport be built at Mnangagwa’s house.

“I love politics and history, not just at a national level but globally. I have always been interested in the political affairs of Zimbabwe. I research a lot but much of my astuteness is a combination of my poetic ability and my public speaking past during high school,” Taffy told Nehanda Radio.

But in a highly polarised political environment like Zimbabwe the inevitable consequence of taking on your leaders is intimidation and threats. “There has been a lot of backlash and cyber bullying
I have received countless threats . It’s a Zimbabwean phenomenon really.

“The lack of tolerance is too much, from both sides of the camps (Zanu PF and MDC). At first it used to get to me, but you see the type of comedy I do naturally requires one to have an inbuilt system of shock absorbers,” Taffy told Nehanda Radio.

Asked which was his favourite skit he said “Hard to say. Probably my first comic news bulletin. Only because it’s the video that made me. It’s sort of the Genesis of my comic storyline.

Why the name Taffy Theman? He told us “It was actually meant to be “the Man” but opted to make it one word “Theman”. Got the nickname from my workmates years ago before I started doing comedy. I initially didn’t like it but the name sort of stuck on me until I actually loved it.”

To follow Taffy Theman on YouTube visit his channel