5 Things You Never Knew About Tumi Morake

She’s one of the biggest comedians, actresses and talk show hosts in the country today and she continues to become a bigger and brighter star with every day that passes. This week, Motsweding FM’s new breakfast host Tumi Morake takes fellow comedian Skhumba on a tour of her home province, the Free State, on the latest episode of the Showmax original ‘Trippin With Skhumba’ – and shares some pretty interesting facts about her life.

Tumi Once Wished She Had Darker Skin

During a visit to Tumi’s family home, her Oupa tells Skhumba that when Tumi was younger, she once smeared black polish all over her body and her face. Tumi doesn’t deny it. “The funny thing is, a few years later, I got sunburnt because I was trying to be browner,” she admits to Skhumba. “I was such a yellowbone.”

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Tumi’s Parents Were Arrested For Treason

Tumi shares that when Bloemfontein was in South Africa but Thaba ‘Nchu was part of Bophuthatswana – and both Tumi’s parents were arrested for treason. “My dad tried to overthrow the Bophuthatswana government,” Tumi tells Skhumba. “Because remember there was that Apartheid puppet, Mangope. My dad was an underground ANC member, working in the police force, so somebody sold him out. The next time I saw him, he was in jail. I was speaking to him through the glass, on a phone. It was heart-breaking, man. That’s when I learned about Apartheid properly.” Her mother brought her to Bloemfontein to stay with her grandparents ‘for stability’ – the right choice since she was promptly arrested on her return.

Tumi Initially Wanted To Become An Actress, Not A Comedian

“When I came to Joburg and went to Wits to study, I knew I wanted to be an actor,” she says “But because I’m chubby – I don’t have a conventional look – it was hard to get acting work. The hot chicks were getting the work. And yes, there were some talented chicks getting the work but if I look at my age group it was mostly about how you look than whether you have the talent or not.” She changed her focus to writing, which she still loves, but then comedy hit. “I was like: this is what I want to do,” she says. “This is giving me what I want: I got to write, I got to act, I got to have my own audience right there.” Part of what she loves about comedy is its ability to speak uncomfortable truths. “When you take comedy and you use it to talk about some of these things, you’re calling a spade a spade. I’ve made a joke of it, so you’re laughing, but you’re going, ‘Ey but it’s true.’”

Tumi Is A Mother To Three Kids

On the episode, Tumi reveals that she had a tendency to always see Skhumba when she was pregnant. “I have three children, but for some reason, when I had just met Skhumba, I was pregnant with my second child, and the next time I saw him I was pregnant with my third. It feels like every time we bump into each other I’m pregnant.”

Tumi Owes Everything To Her Mother

Every time she heads back home to the Free State, she makes a stop at her mother’s grave. “My home visits are incomplete without this visit,” says Tumi, who dedicated her 2018 book, And Then Mama Said…, to her mother. “My mother made me who I am, man,” Tumi says. “I feel like I’m an extension of her. If my mom had been born now, I feel like I’m pretty much a picture of what she could’ve been and would’ve been. My mother was outspoken; my mother was a pioneer in many respects; my mother was fearless.”

Catch new episodes of Trippin With Skhumba weekly on Showmax.

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