Madam Boss is undeniably one of the most humble comedians one can ever come across.
Without meeting her, one can feel like they have known her for a lifetime just by watching her entertaining video clips on her Facebook page which on a good day are watched by more than 30 000 people. She is most popular for her clips where she abuses her maid — Melinda, commanding her to do many tasks within a short space of time.
This is a comedian who will take people through her daily errands without censoring much, something which has always set her apart from other comedians.
Recently, she was in the UK where she performed at the Y2K festival which featured music greats, Oliver Mtukudzi, Jah Prayzah and Winky D among other locals. And while she was there, she kept local followers updated using Facebook Live. From her getting lost in malls, removing stilettos when under pressure to walk barefooted, starving at press conferences to wigs almost falling, Madam Boss shared everything.
What makes her even more special is her patriotism. As she shot one of the live clips in the UK, the people she was travelling with, fellow Zimbabweans based there, showed her a Lamborghini thinking she had never been exposed to such. Her response was: “What’s so amazing about a Lamborghini? We’ve these in Zimbabwe so don’t behave as if we’re archaic.”
But what makes her tick?
Madam Boss’ life story is an emotional one as the “boss” character she portrays is a result of her life experiences. Interestingly, Madam Boss, an orphan, was once a housemaid hence the birth of her comedy character which was inspired by the various people she worked for.
Born Tyra Chikocho in Harare in 1985, the comedian was raised in the rural areas by her mother up until she was in Grade 6. Her mother died and since then, life was never the same for her as she had to start hustling to fend for herself and her siblings.
“When I was in Grade 5, my mum fell ill and had to be taken to Harare for treatment and since then my life was never the same. My life was so tough that I stopped going to school.
“We rarely got food and I decided to look for a job as a maid and started working for this one lady who had a farm. I sold mangoes, supercools and other things for her,” said Madam Boss.
“A year later, when I was in Grade 6 my mum passed away and after that, we’d to be split so that our other elder sisters could take care of us. Upon relocating to Harare, I’d to repeat Grade 6 and was put in a special class as there were no slots at the school I’d been taken to.”
Madam Boss, however, flunked her Grade 7 and had to repeat and eventually got 18 units.
“From there I was taken to Budiriro High School and didn’t perform that well again. I started working at a motel in Masvingo and decided to try my luck in South Africa after learning how to dress in Masvingo. I border jumped and started staying with my cousin who told me all I could do was be a maid once again since I’d no paperwork, certificates included.
“I started working for this Indian lady who was so nice to me. After working for her for a long time, I met this one Nigerian called Eku and he told me I looked South African. He suggested that he could employ me at his Internet Cafe as he felt I could attract customers. I was now light skinned and knew how to bath so I think that’s what attracted him,” said Madam Boss.
But, her lack of education almost haunted her as she was worried that she was not computer literate and would probably not make the cut.
“I told him I couldn’t use a computer and he assured me he’d teach me everything. He was very patient with me and after some time, I also joined the Christ Embassy Choir. I could now fend for myself and stopped staying with my cousin.”
The comedian highlighted the hazards of living in South Africa saying one needed to know where they came from and not go with the wind.
“When you’re living in SA, there comes a time when you just want to have fun and forget everything. But then again, there comes a time when you question yourself on where what you’ll be doing will take you. After some soul searching in 2000 I decided to return home.
“It was back to basics and I started staying with my other sister in Westgate. She asked me what I wanted to do and I told her I’d also been singing in SA.
She took me to one of the best producers McDee who told me to give him a demo. I sang and he laughed at me before booking me. He told me I couldn’t sing but would teach me and I recorded my debut album.”
But, after a difficult journey, life took her to a place where she found genuine love and peace as she met her husband to be, Ngoni while fellowshipping at ZAOGA. She dated him for five months before he met her family to pay bride price. Fortunately, her mother-in-law loved her and it was her who inspired Madam Boss’ fixation with glasses. In all of her clips, she features with glasses on, imitating her mother-in-law.
“My mother in law is very classy. When she’s scrolling her phone she puts on her glasses and doesn’t even use them as she peeps over them.
“Madam Boss’ character of bothering maids, however, comes from the challenges I faced when I was in the rural areas as well as when I worked for the Indian lady who were both problematic. When the Indian lady was bathing, she could call me to scratch her back, ask me to get her toothpick after she’s done eating and so many other things at one go. The one from the rural areas was just evil, if there was Child Line then I’d have reported her,” she said.