Comedy is one of the most popular artistic genres in the country.
Comedians like Freddy “Kapfupi” Manjalima, Charles “Marabha” Merisi and Jeffrey “Aphiri” Chikwesere rose to fame through their comic acts that were done as street theatre.
Comedy followers also relished productions from the likes of Lazarus “Bhonzo” Simbarashe and Timothy “Timmy” Tapfumaneyi of the Bonzo Nechikwata fame.
But the industry still ranks yesteryear comedians like Safirio “Mukadota” Madzikatire, Phillip “Paraffin” Mushangwe and Simon “Mutirowafanza” Shumba as the best generation in the genre.
They have inspired new comedians and rising star Shingirai Mutizwa, whose stage name is Toropito, feels he can match their talent.
He hails from Epworth where Kapfupi also comes from.
Toropito has taken the city by storm and recently he staged a hilarious act at Ochi City during the Miss Universities beauty pageant. He was also a marvel at the Police Commissioner’s Funfair at Morris Depot in September.
The 32-year-old artist left the crowd clamouring for more with his unique stand-up comedy.
Although he only went to school up to Grade 7, Toropito is managing to put food on the table and take care of his wife and three kids through performing at weddings, corporate functions, birthdays and other social events. He also stages shows in schools.
Toropito is not new in the art industry as he played the role of a street kid in the comedy Gringo Comes to Lunch and featured as an extra in the Gringo series.
In an interview, Toropito stressed that it was his friend and fellow actor Blessing Chimhowa, polpularly known as Mbudziyadhura, in Gringo Ndiani, who contributed greatly to his career as a comedian.
“It was in 1990 at a Screen Talent Drama Club function when Chimhowa urged actors to be creative,” said Toropito.
“Chimhowa’s words were like a thorn in the flesh to me and I took time to think of something creative that could help me generate income.
“I then came up with the idea of my type of comedy.”
Toropito usually imitates news readers as he does his comic bulletin touching on social issues.
“The comic news will be in line with what is happening that time. I create jokes that are in line with events of the day.”
His major breakthrough was in 2006 when he was given a platform at National FM stand at the Harare Agricultural Show to showcase his talent.
He is also being assisted by television personality Prominence Makaza who doubles as his manager.