Queens of Comedy
Bona|January 2017

Comedians Celeste Ntuli and Tumi Morake share their love for the comic craft and their journey in the industry. 

Amanda Mtuli

They may lead different lives, but the one thing they have in common is their love for standup comedy and entertaining.

CELESTE

Born in a family of eight – three sisters and four brothers (her eldest brother is late) – Celeste hails from Empangeni in KZN. She describes her family as being close-knit. And, although she doesn’t have children, she loves her nieces and nephews as if they are her own. Growing up, the comedian was the “quiet one” in the family and she says that’s mainly because her dad was strict. However, she reveals that she was a joker and always had friends at school. “People who know me are not surprised that I’m a comedian because I was always kidding around.” She says as an adult, she’s more centred and driven. “I enjoy being kind to myself and others. Negative energy stresses me out, so I can’t be around negative people.”

Celeste is one for routine, and starts her day early. “I wake up at 4am every day; I like the calmness at this time as it recharges me. I work on Isibaya in the morning and do my live comedy performances in the evening. Because I give so much of myself, I need time to replenish. If I don’t, I will end up crashing.” As nice as it is to be of service to people, she says sometimes it’s a great idea to take some time out for herself. “Before I face the world, I spend at least four hours with myself. This is important because so much happens in a day.” She recalls her father’s passing last year and how difficult it was for her when she met excited fans at the airport who had no idea what she was going through. She says though she was sad, she managed to smile and push through. “Every time I leave my house, I tell myself that I’m a people’s person; I do what I do for the people and they expect certain things from me. And that’s why I sometimes take time out to go offline and recharge.”

BE TRUE TO YOURSELF

It is important to Celeste that she stays true to herself. There is so much pressure on celebrities, which she finds unnecessary. “I’m not a fashionista; rather I dress for comfort.” However, there are certain exceptions when she has to apply make-up, such as when on set or attending client events. “On a Saturday, you will find me at a grocery store without make-up, because that’s me being myself.”

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