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“I am lucky I know Kenny Kunene personally, so I will have a lot to say about him,” said actress Khanyi Mbau who, along with celebrities Dineo Ranaka and Somizi Mhlongo, has been announced as the first batch of Kunene’s roasters in the upcoming Comedy Central Roast.
After comedic actor Leon Schuster pulled out as the next roastee, the lot fell on Kunene.
As usual, Comedy Central has kept mum on who this year’s roasters are, preferring to release them a few at a time as we get closer to April 3, when the actual roast happens.
So far, only Mbau, Ranaka and Mhlongo are the confirmed roasters who will have the priceless opportunity to take a jab at the flamboyant Kunene.
For Mbau it is all going to be fun and games, but with a few rules in place.
“I know for Kenny it is strictly about him and nothing else. He has no problems if we say anything about his person, but we should never talk about his family.
“His ex-wife or kids are out of the question,” she said.
Since the format of the roast entails that all panelists can expect the same verbal lashing as the roastee, Mbau said the same boundaries Kunene had, applied to her too.
“I don’t want anyone talking about my child or my mother. My family is out of bounds and we should respect that.”
That said, Mbau promised she will not take anything else personally, unlike roaster Kuli Roberts, who later claimed to have felt “abused” and “ambushed” after South Africa’s inaugural celebrity roast, of Steve Hofmeyr, in September 2012.
“I think the roast is not for people who sell an image or a brand, like Kuli Roberts.
“If you are selling a brand then you are really concerned about your look or how people look at you,” said Mbau.
“The roast, however, is quite the opposite; it is about tearing up that look.
“So for me, you know what you see is what you get.
“I really don’t have anything to worry about that has never been said before so I should be fine,” she added.
Asked if she thought Kunene could take a joke, Mbau affirmed that he would be a good sport and take it all.
“To do this successfully you need to have a large heart and be able to laugh at yourself,” she said.
But while Mbau might be taking it on the chin, she is worried about Mhlongo, who is notorious for being sharp- tongued and witty.
“I have no problems with Dineo so I don’t think she will cause serious damage, it is Somizi I worry about,” explained Mbau.
Ranaka also expressed excitement coupled with anxiety about being a roaster. For her the night could go either way.
“I am nervous because I am not a comedian,” she said.
To make matters worse for her, she doesn’t have a relationship with Kunene so she will not have enough dirt on him to satisfy her efforts.
“I have interviewed him a few times and he’s acted funny around me, but aside from that, I don’t have many things on him so my plan is to go with the night and see where it takes me,” she said.
While she is okay with Mhlongo and Mbau poking fun at her, Ranaka was not sure about the host, UK comedian Jimmy Carr, being part of the proceedings.
“He doesn’t know me so I suspect all he will have to do, to get an idea of who I am, is use Google.
“Now there are some unnecessary headlines that have appeared about me in the past that misrepresented me, but he doesn’t know that.
“I am afraid he will use the wrong information on me and that’s not going to work well with me,” she said.
• The second Comedy Central Roast will take place at the The Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City, on April 3 at 8.30pm.