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Bulawayo comedian Mdawini speaks on his achievements

Life & Style
Self-proclaimed “Landlord of Pumula”, Hidden Sibanda popularly known as Uncle Zex Mdawini.

BE it in a queue to buy electricity tokens, on a kombi or bus and even in a queue to pay for grocery in a local store, he is a man who never ceases to leave crowds in stitches, laughing their lungs out.

The man is none other than self-proclaimed “Landlord of Pumula”, Hidden Sibanda popularly known as Uncle Zex Mdawini.

“The story of when I started doing comedy dates long back to when I was still a child, but then as I grew, then came the advent of technology,” Mdawini said.

“My skits later trended on TikTok, with people from all over Africa making their own videos using my voice, some even getting thousands of likes. The charge office challenge was a favourite among my fans, as well as the ‘Samantha’ and the ‘Landlord’ videos.”

Mdawini has a number of associate actors including Mahlalela, Sipho Nyathi, Nasingijo, Spikiri and Nceku.

He said his social media profiles had been gaining a considerable following.

“My TikTok handle (Zexman01) is very active and I have gained so many followers on my Facebook profile,” the comedian said.

Mdawini recently won a National Arts Merit Award (Nama) for Outstanding Comedian and also won an award at the Pumula Royal Arts and Community Awards in 2021 for best male comedian (Praca), but said there was controversy there.

“It does not make sense to me how I managed to win a national award when I had failed to be nominated at the Bulawayo Arts Awards. Something fishy was going on there, you see?,” he said with derision.

Mdawini complained about how Zimbabweans do not take his style of comedy seriously and, instead, want him to mimic international comedians such as Trevor Noah.

“People do not understand that my comedy is for Zimbabweans and that I do not conform to Western standards. Mahlalela is a very good comedian, but isn’t receiving any recognition for his work. People should learn to appreciate local comedy,” he said.

Mdawini said of late, he had not been making productions, but will be back in action soon.

“I will be one of the comedians at the Comedy Night which is being hosted on July 6 at the Bulawayo Theatre. There is also a comedy club that I have been working with that I will not name, but we will be having a show in Harare very soon,” he said.

“People are quite used to seeing me on the internet. I am sure when I have a live show there will be some shaking.”

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