Mdala Ka Tjeludo: A political satirist of note

Comedy has always been a huge part of Mdala Ka Tjeludo's life PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Comedy has always been a huge part of Mdala Ka Tjeludo's life PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG

Political satire uses ridicule and irony to critique politics and politicians in an entertaining way. In Botswana, comedians take a swipe at politicians all the time, but besides cartoonists no one has ever really made a full-fletched career out of political satire.

Times have changed and now people find political satire as humorous content and more comedians are gaining inspiration from politics.

For Kalanga political satirist, Onkgopotse China Mugende, prominently known as Mdala Ka Tjeludo on Duma FM, started to bloom at Denjebuya Junior School during his junior school days in 1997 where he earned the title The Best In The English Category In Botswana.

The 36-year-old man from Tutume village told Arts & Culture that he did a one-man act titled A Man With A Certificate by Olopeng Rabasimane, which was a very important moment for his career.

He added that right after he finished his Form 5 at Tutume McConnell College, he proceeded to do his A-levels at New Era.  Mdala Ka Tjeludo said he later abandoned his talent because he wanted to focus more on his academic work, more so that acting was not much of a career then. Mdala Ka Tjeludo mentioned that comedy has always been a huge part of his life.

“Even after so many years of not doing comedy, I was a bit sceptical about going back into the industry because I saw young men and women making their mark too. Then I thought I am too old for this now,” he said.   He added that he ended up going for it because of the burning desire and passion inside of him.

Mdala Ka Tjeludo said he went on to produce short videos in Kalanga and uploaded them of social media.  Mdala Ka Tjeludo added that the reason he chose to do this in Kalanga was to bring in something different to promote his tribe. He was proud to reveal that he is very comfortable when it comes to his language usage. “Batswana now got interested in what I was doing, but because of the language barrier other tribes could not understand what I was saying so that’s when I introduced the Setswana videos, but I kept on using the Kalanga accent,” he said. 

Mdala Ka Tjeludo said due to his love for politics, he then started analysing politics, but in a more comical manner.  “I wanted to convey messages to my followers who have access to mainstream media and current affairs,” he said.  Mdala Ka Tjeludo was quick to highlight that his hard work earned him a slot on Duma FM on Mondays to analyse politics and that has been the best thing that has ever happened for his career.

Mdala Ka Tjeludo mentioned that he is based in Gaborone, but has followers all over the country.

He will embark on a tour on February 28 starting with Jwaneng. He said his goal is to travel the whole country and complete it at his hometown in Tutume in December.

 “Lastly I would like to encourage others out there that it is never too late and I am living testimony to that. Get up and showcase your talent,” he said.

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