Not long after news of this comedian, actor and presenter’s pending divorce from his wife of 11 years broke on the blogs, Gumbi announced the tour. “My point really is telling our story,” he told me about the show.
“Instead of letting this divorce or my failed romantic relationship with my wife become tabloid fodder, I’d much rather tell our story on our terms instead of have speculation.”
“Also, it’s about letting people know that it’s not all doom and gloom and it actually is a love story. I like to say it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. So there is the story of our journey of love. I also let people know the signs like don’t do certain things.”
While his soon-to-be ex-wife, Lucille, is actually producing this show and also appears on the tour’s flyer, she hadn’t heard the material in the show when Gumbi and I sat down. But he told me: “I’ve been trying out a lot of this material at small clubs and even bigger venues.”
“The few comments I’ve gotten that I will take into consideration include that some of the material is too real for people. They can’t separate themselves from my life because they know me personally. They’re finding it difficult to find the point that I’m at in life.”
In his set, he often has a detailed description of things that happened in his marriage. “There is a lot of introspection I did and I found myself wanting, I found myself lacking. I see those things are a direct cause of conflict, not only in the romantic relationship with my wife, but also in my relationships with people.”
I asked him to elaborate and he said: “Yeah! I don’t think I ever properly dealt with the death of my father earlier in the year and the fact that he was never around for me. Like, I didn’t even want to go to the funeral and there’s a lot of manning up that I needed to do.
“(For instance) the reason I sometimes argue with people is because I feel emasculated by the situation.
“That is something I wouldn’t need to go through if I had dealt with the issues about my own manhood and having not been raised by a man. I kind of feel like I never know what the ‘manly’ thing to do in a situation is - having been raised by a single mom and a lot of sisters. It’s something I’m trying to deal with, but it’s not easy.”
A men’s camp in Cape Town helped Gumbi get closer to these aha moments and comedy became cathartic for him again. He seems to be in a good space for someone who is about to air his laundry to the nation. One of the questions the tour aims to ask is: Are there still any experiences to be had?
“I feel like I’ve done so much,” Gumbi shared. “I’ve travelled, I’ve made all the mistakes. I’ve been broke, I made a lot of money. I’ve loved. I’ve made children. What more is there?
“My biggest fear is what could possibly f*** out next? I’m walking on eggshells to not fuck up something. I think I’ve f**ked up enough. I’m trying to do my best with everything! You should see me before I tweet.” Gumbi will be sharing the lessons he’s learnt in The Divorce Tour.
* Catch Trevor Gumbi at the Silverstar Casino on November 4. Tickets at Computicket. More dates info @TrevorGumbi.