He has grown in leaps and bounds since then, even going ahead and having his one-man-show, titled Baby Mama Drama.
What was ironic and seemed to not fit this character we were introduced to is that Nene was now being accused of taking the comedy thing a bit literally, by not paying his papgeld and thus, the drama.
It was a bit messy, with Nene accused of having broken up with his then-pregnant baby mama in an effort to keep his wife from finding out about his extramarital dalliances. Stories that came out at the time have also claimed that he abandoned the said child.
Three or so years later, Nene still dismisses the claims.
“The show is based real-life events. When I came up with content for the show, it was way before, possibly around 2012 or 2013. Now this story makes several incoherent claims about the age of the child, which, if you sit down and count, makes no sense. If you compare the child’s age to when I started the tour, the maths doesn’t add up. But I must state that there is no child that I know of,” he said with a slight chuckle.
With that out of the way, we could then discuss his latest work, Typical Zulu, also a one-man stand up comedy show that will deal with all the things that are associated with being typically Zulu. The content of which, will be in Sifiso’s home language isiZulu.
“There has been no time for any other thing besides my comedy. I was careful with that because I did not want to confuse my brand,” he explained.
Besides the advertisements that he has been seen on in the last couple of months, Nene said he had ensured that he would keep his brand only associated with comedy.
He has been on a successful nationwide tour over the last year - and the comedy industry has certainly been growing and the year been good to him.
“The country’s comedy scene has grown. We are able to make a living and look at it as an artform that can become a career. We are in a good space as comedians; we are no longer just making people laugh but we’re able to sustain ourselves and live,” he said.
Nene believes that, from here, it’s only one way - and that’s up.
“We obviously can’t compare our comedy industry to the American one, for instance. We need to give it space to grow. Overseas, they’ve been doing this for years. We’re only now venturing into one-man-shows, which grows the industry, but also the individual brands. So I really do think we need to just give it time,” he added
With Typical Zulu, Nene - of So You Think You’re Funny fame - said he wants to tackle all the stereotypes, the downright outrageous to the simply hilarious ones about Zulu speaking people in the country. His comedy is the perfect platform for this.
“I always try to name my shows in a way that they give you the 411 of what the show is about. As the name suggests, I am a Zulu man who lives in Joburg. And most of the time, people will say things like: ‘Ey, you sound so Zulu!’ So I thought there’s the title of the show. That’s who I am, anyway, and it’s a chance to talk about all these things that I’ve experienced,” Nene said.
The comedy show will touch on a range of topics, from the point of view of a typical Zulu. It will be anything between an hour and 30 minutes long, to two hours.
Nene also strongly suggests that older audiences will appreciate his comedy, even though he does not use vulgar language or discuss sex in his shows.
With the show playing in Durban and Johannesburg, I put Nene on the spot, wanting to know which city he prefers best. In true Sfiso form, he gave a beautifully diplomatic response.
“I love both cities for various reasons. Durban is where inkaba yam ye comedy ikhona. I will always have that emotional attachment to it. Joburg is where my career was launched and where I live. I am looking forward to both cities,” he said.
For audiences wanting to experience his type of comedy, Nene said they could expect to see his evolution in comedy. “All I can say is that they must expect crickets (fireworks)!”
* Typical Zulu will be on at the Playhouse Opera Theatre in Durban on Saturday and The Silverstar Casino in Johannesburg on November 11. Tickets are available from Computicket.