Local comedian shares humorous take on isiXhosa in new book

Kolping Mbumba talks excitedly about his recently published book titled isiXhosa Lessons.

What started out as a friendly conversation between Kolping Mbumba and his friend about a meaning of of the word Okusalayo – and whether it was in fact a Xhosa word – inspired him to publish his first book called isiXhosa Lessons.

In an interview with Vukani, the 26-year-old stand-up comedian, author and businessman from Philippi says the book aims to define Xhosa words in a simplest form while adding an element of humour but not stray away from their actual meaning.

The book is both written in Xhosa and English as he did not want to make it inaccessible to those who do not speak Xhosa.

During lockdown, he started running Xhosa lessons online, on various social media platforms, but the idea to write isiXhosa Lessons came when he was arguing with his friend whether Okusalayo was a Xhosa or a Zulu word.

He says the way he defined the word to his friend cracked him up and he suggested that he post it on Facebook. The video went viral and he started posting more of them on YouTube.

Then two months ago he got started on the book.

“The book is as conversational as possible. But I have ensured that the actual meaning of the word is accurate. I just made it funny so that I could grab the readers’ attention,” he said.

“The book is written in the way we speak because I wanted the readers to understand it and not be too academic and formal.

“The book also talks about how I survived lockdown and dives deep into how I started the isiXhosa lessons” he said.

Mr Mbumba told Vukani he also also reworked the book’s content into a script for a one-hour stand-up comedy show he hopes to stage next year.

He said he started writing when he was about 14 and has four unpublished manuscripts. IsiXhosa Lessons was published first, he said, because there was more demand for it – and he was offered assistance to publish it.

He is currently working on a second book which focuses on Xhosa idioms.

Mr Mbumba started performing as a stand up comedian when he was 16 years old and when he was 18 he registered his own company called Comedy Corner SA. He left school during his Grade 10 year and also dropped out of college, he told Vukani.

Comedy, he said, was the only thing he ever wanted to do and it had taken a lot of convincing for his mother to believe in his dream and ambitions.

He said working with some of top comedians in the country such as Siye Seya, David Kau, Loyiso Gola and making TV appearances counted among his career highlights.

If you want the book, you can contact him at 067 679 5537.

Comedian Kolping Mbumba has published a humorous take on the Xhosa language.