Nonto R battles for her roots and father's honour

Nonto R will leave you in stiches.
Nonto R will leave you in stiches.

Upcoming comic Nonto Rubushe prides herself in upgrading her father from being a taxi driver to the "famous girl's dad".

Even though her dad Mondlana has been a taxi driver for years, Nonto R (her stage name) says her new-found fame has brought a sense of pride to her family name.

"My father is from Mozambique and his surname is Mondlana. When they first came here (South Africa), they changed their surnames so that they didn't get harassed. My late grandfather changed their original surname and they became Mwandla.

"He changed his surname back to Mondlana recently. I think it is a proud moment because his surname is not known, he was always known as 'the taxi driver .' He only has two girls and here I am, even though I am married I am flying our family flag high as a Mondlana," she says.

Nonto R's father is now a full- time driver at a government department in KwaZulu-Natal.

The 32-year-old mother of three from Durban is nominated in the best newcomer category at the upcoming Savanna Comic Choice Awards to be held in Johannesburg next month.

"I'm used to being honoured only in KZN. This feels like every comedian in the country is saying I am funny. If I happen to get the award it would just be a cherry on top."

Nonto R says her journey to comedy greatness was filled with detours as she worked in various fields including beauty, radio, the banking sector and SA Breweries.

"When I told my parents that I was going into comedy, my mother said 'yeah, you have always wanted to do this'."

Nonto R will face stiff competition in Lindy Johnson, Gilli Apter, Tsitsi Chiumya and Bongani Dube.

The awards take place at Joburg's Lyric Theatre on September 8.