“The name is Maforty-40 the name so nice you gotta say it twice, no relation to G40″. A standard slogan, or chant if you will, of fast-rising comedian, performer and MC, Dumie Ma40. Born Dumisani Hubert Ndlovu 31 years ago, he is an IT and Network specialist by day and comedian by night.
Maforty-40 sometimes referred to as the keen-eyed comedian, owing to his physical appearance is taking the art of comic performance to a different level and changing how the comedy scene should be consumed by its audiences. How? – you may ask. I’m sure in your life you have heard some do-good Christian saying they like to have “good clean fun”. Well Ma40 has decided to tap into this market and revolutionise how we consume comedy.
Explicit language and vile jokes have, for the longest time, been the dominant at comedy shows and performances. You think of Eddie Griffith’s skit, the phrase mother f***** pops up at least 10 times, the late Bernie Mac seemed to conjugate…well everything with son of a b****! Fast forward to this generation and you still have your Basket Mouth, Michael Blackson (I’m naming those I assume you will automatically recall without thinking too hard). Granted I can’t claim to have watched all comic shows but when was the last time you heard the words iwule, isifebe, (amongst other words I can not put here) from Bulawayo comics? (all the time, yeah the answer is all the time).
So those of us that enjoy comedy but would still revel in some A rated family friendly shows, Ma40 is a breath of fresh air. In an interview with Tipster, Ma40 shares his views on the type of comedian he is:
“What I bring to the stage is intellectual content with no profanity. I feel those who include profanity in their content are enough, no need for me to join that band wagon”.
“I don’t tell jokes but I make people laugh meaning I have to give my 100% every time I am on stage”.
In the era of social media where if you have access to a smart phone and a decent follower base, a video reaction you make to the 12-midnight announcement of election results will turn you into an overnight celebrity. Vines, spoofs and parodies are the order of the day. This itself is not a bad thing, au contraire! This has given people the power to provide some comic relief in what at times seem like dire situations.
Where does our thatch-sized comedian with the all-seeing eye fit into all this?
If you watch his some of his shows you realise that he is not simply re-enacting these WhatsApp and Facebook jokes, but rather critically explores issues, provides historical context and delivers content in a satirical yet comical way.
But like any other new comer in the entertainment industry he still has a lot of growing and learning to do. Learning how to read an audience is an integral part of a comedian’s job, failure to which can lead to embarrassing situations as Ma40 can testify:
“One of my worst acts was when I performed at Churchill Boys High earlier this year. I think the audience was still on a high after the electric performance by EXQ, I failed to connect with my audience and got off the stage after an embarrassing 3 minutes”.
Not one to let embarrassment stop his dreams of becoming a household name, Maforty-40 recently scooped the Outstanding Newcomer Award at the ROIL Bulawayo Arts Awards 2018. He will also be returning to Shoko Festival on the 28th of September after getting the slot by winning the Top Comic search at Shoko 2017, after which he plans to continue touring the country and the region.