While most people might expect her book to be a laugh a minute, it is surprisingly sombre.
“This isn’t my biography, but a collection of memories from my life. I have shared some of the things that have made me resilient and shaped the persona of Tumi Morake. I have often been asked to share my story and I thought what better way than by honouring the woman who made me who I am, my mother,” Morake said of her book.
Readers can expect to get an in-depth look at the woman – what makes her tick and the life experiences that shaped her.
Here are three titbits of information you probably didn’t know about the comedian and actress.
Her name is Relopile Boitumelo Morake
“Relopile Boitumelo means ‘we prayed for joy’. When I see people smile or laugh in my presence, I feel I have lived up to that name. Relopile is a rare name; I have never met another. Boitumelo is as common as John; throw a stone and you’ll hit a thousand of us.”
She has three half-siblings
“We (Tumi and her parents) would visit Bloemfontein often, where I looked forward to seeing my dad’s parents, who were already quite old. I also enjoyed seeing my half-brother, Tonono (his given name is Sesing, but nobody ever uses it). I adore him so much, and he always had time for me. In fact, knowing that I had a brother and two sisters (Disebo and Mathapelo) in Bloemfontein made the trip that much sweeter.”
Her parents were arrested during the apartheid era
“The nightmare actually began in 1987, when we left the Imperial Reserve and relocated to the suburbs. My parents were being watched and followed. In December 1987, he (her father) went underground and my mother and I fled the city. Upon her return to Mafikeng, my mother was arrested for treason. She never spoke to me about her time in prison. Mama wasn’t quite the same after this experience. Meanwhile, my father had been smoked out of hiding by the news of my mother’s arrest, and the next time I saw him was when he was behind bars.”