Tonderai Zvimba, Showbiz Reporter
ONLINE comedy sensation, Ray Vines, (real name Melusi Chiripowako) is making a name for himself on the Zimbabwean comedy scene with his hilarious skits where he is satirising current affairs.
The fast-rising 19-year-old Midlands State University student said he started recording comedy clips last year after being inspired by the American short videos clips called vines.
“I used to watch a lot of American comedy clips called vines which inspired me to start doing my own short comedy clips with the name Ray Vines,” he said.
Over the past few months, the online comedy sensation has garnered a huge following online with one of his most watched clips being the one where he is treated as a hero in his neighbourhood after walking around with a loaf of bread – a scarce commodity currently. He also gained more followers after being actively involved in the Twitter war with Ugandans before the Uganda vs Zimbabwe football match in Egypt last week.
“I love to make fun of issues that will be taking place in our country using short videos which are usually less than 30 seconds. I think the short entertaining clips have set me apart from other comedians as many people have fallen in love with them judging by the way people are sharing them.”
Unlike other local comedians whose clips are long, Ray Vines’ skits are under a minute making them reach a wider audience as they are easy to share on platforms such as WhatsApp.
His comedy, Ray Vines said, was also inspired by veteran Zimbabwean comedians like Gringo, Paraffin and Mukadota.
“I draw a lot of inspiration from legendary Zimbabwean comedians and I hope I will one day be remembered like them. I’ve even done videos where I include some of these comedians like Paraffin and Gringo,” he said.
The Computer Science student, who has over 70 000 followers on Instagram and over 30 000 likes on his Facebook page, said he wants to make money from his comedy talent.
“I want to make money off my passion and recently launched my clothing line called Mukukuzvi. I’ve also secured various endorsement deals so it looks promising.”
He said he is fortunate to have parents who are supportive of his passion.
“I’m very lucky to have parents who are very supportive of my career. They’ve even featured in some of my videos which is great.”
The comedian, who has been featured in Enzo Ishall’s hit music video Vanodherera alongside Bhutisi and Gonyeti, said his focus for now, is on his upcoming online show.