We don’t want to spoil the punchlines about the man officially in the firing line: radio jock and TV host Somizi Mhlongo. So instead we’ll give you a taste of how brutal it was for outspoken Twitter personality Ntsiki Mazwai, who wondered afterwards whether it was Somizi’s roast or her own.
Mazwai couldn’t claim she hadn’t been warned; Somizi was firing shots at her well before the actual roast. As he told The Citizen in April, “Unfortunately with Ntsiki, I think she’s thicker-skinned than most of us… and not thick-skinned because she’s thick skinned. She’s thick-skinned because she hasn’t taken a bath in a long time. So her skin is so thick of… insila [dirt]. So… they must call her Insila Mazwai.”
There were more warning signs on the red carpet at Gold Reef City. When asked before the roast who their favourite Mazwai sister was, everyone answered Thandiswa. “Is there another one?” quipped roast master and media personality Gareth Cliff.
So credit to Mazwai for even turning up. Actress Nomzamo Mbatha, for one, was surprised. “Ntsiki Mazwai: wow, I can’t believe you actually came,” she said during her roast. “After everything you’ve said to.... everyone! Wow, you’re brave - or just stupid.”
But despite all the warning signs, Mazwai was upbeat when interviewed just before the roast. When asked about her strategy, she replied, “My secret weapon? I’m just going to be myself. I’m really good at being a bitch; I’m just going to do that.”
She added that she was most looking forward to roasting Fikile Mbalula, the current ANC head of elections who she has been known to twar with. “We have unfinished business,” she said.
But Mbalula will have left feeling like he’d closed the chapter on her, rather than the other way round. “Ntsiki, you are living proof that fame has a plus one… Your sister is famous for being the lead singer in Bongo Muffin and you are just an angry muffin,” he shaded her.
He also mocked her habit of performing her ‘poetry’ in prisons. “That is what we call a ‘captive audience,’” he said. “As a former Minister of Police, I thought I should be the one who tells you: those are not fans, Ntsiki. What do Ntsiki and apartheid have in common? They both tortured black prisoners. Ntsiki, your poetry is a crime deterrent. There is no need for the death penalty when you have Ntsiki.”
Before the show, Mazwai had dismissed the threat of comedian Schalk Bezuidenhout. “I do not know who Schalk Bezuidenhout is,” she said. “He is here due to white privilege.”
Famous last words. When Schalk had the mic, he admitted he didn’t know who Mazwai was either. “I went onto your Instagram and it said you were a poet. I read some of your poetry and it said you’re not a poet.”
Even when other people were being roasted, she took the blows, like when Kurt Darren told Gareth Cliff, “Gareth, if you were a black woman, you would be Ntsiki Mazwai.”
Worse, when it was her turn to roast, she came across worse than the people she was throwing shade at. In Just Desserts, their post-show analysis, hosts Lalla Hirayama and Mojak Lehoko named her attempt to body shame Skhumba for body-shaming as the worst moment of the night. Nomzamo was so uninterested by Mazwai’s roast, she chose that moment to fix her makeup.
Cliff said afterwards that it must have been the worst day of Mazwai’s life, while comedian Skhumba predicted she’d go home and commit suicide.
The only glimmer of hope for Mazwai on the night? Maybe, as new 702 Afternoon Drive host Joanne Joseph recommended, Somizi will give her an actual job – as a babysitter for his fiancé Mohale Motaung…
The extended, uncut Comedy Central Roast of Somizi, or as Twitter renamed it 'The Roast of Ntsiki Mazwai', is now on Showmax.