Entertainment / Celebs And Viral

Nandipha Pantsi
3 minute read
19 Jun 2014
7:00 am

Tumi Morake’s reality TV experiment

Nandipha Pantsi

Reality television is not for the faint-hearted. Award-winning comedian Tumi Morake learned this the hard way after allowing TV cameras to follow her family around for e.tv's Rolling With: Celeb Edition.

South African comedienne Tumi Morake on June 9, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / The Times / Shelley Christians)

The show (which features a different celebrity on each episode) allows viewers to observe a typical day in the life of a famous person.

As one of SA’s whackiest comedians, married to the equally entertaining actor Mpho Osei-Tutu, it’s no wonder that Morake was approached to be part of the series.

“I’ve always been interested in reality TV. I imagined it to be like one very long interview,” she says.

But it was nothing of the sort for the mother of two.

“It’s easy for me to be in the spotlight, because I am a public figure, but it became a bit tricky when I had to involve my children and extended family. I had to ask my in-laws very nicely to have them filmed, but it was very awkward for them.”

One of the aspects of Morake’s life that is revealed on the show is her close relationship with her in-laws.

“When people see me as the comedian on stage, they see a confident and loud person. But they don’t know where it comes from. My family are my biggest fans. They support me and back me up,” she says with a laugh.

Comedian Tumi Morake with her husband Moho Osei-Tutu at the celebration of Rhythm City's 1000th episode running on May 5, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sunday World / Mabuti Kali)

Comedian Tumi Morake with her husband Moho Osei-Tutu at the celebration of Rhythm City’s 1000th episode running on May 5, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sunday World / Mabuti Kali)

But when it comes to her children, five-year-old Bonsu and two-year-old Lesedi, there is no joking around for Morake.

“I’m a very normal mother and wife. When you have toddlers, you have to be strict and lay down the laws. That is a side of me many people don’t know.”

At first, Morake was apprehensive about exposing her children on television.

“Every mother worries sometimes, but after I saw how well they handled the cameras, I became a lot more comfortable.”

Rolling With: Celeb Edition also shows a glimpse into the life of Osei-Tutu’s life as a husband, father and actor.

“After filming, Mpho and I would do a post-mortem of the day, and it made us realise just how busy our days can be. But I think we made it work.”

 Tumi Morake during the Comedy Central Roast of Steve Hofmeyer at the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City on September 11, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Justin Barlow/Gallo Images/Getty Images for MTV)

Tumi Morake during the Comedy Central Roast of Steve Hofmeyer at the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City on September 11, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Justin Barlow/Gallo Images/Getty Images for MTV)

Things became a lot more awkward when there was nothing for the cameras to film, tempting her to stage “reality.”

“The cameras followed me around on the one week I didn’t have a comedy gig to attend,” she says with a laugh.

“At one point, I even thought about pretending I had a gig just for the cameras. But I just didn’t have the energy to go through all of that. I figured if people want to see me, then they will see the real me – even if it is boring.”

If Morake’s learned anything from her “day in the life of a celebrity” experience, it’s that she is not a celebrity.

“I’m just a public figure. People know me because of my craft, but I don’t live a glamorous celebrity lifestyle fit for reality TV,” she shrugs.

Asked if she would do it again, Morake says: “Absolutely not. I respect people who have made a career out of it, but this was enough ‘reality’ for me.”