Cousins with a gift for comedy
Confident and creative, but most importantly funny, Kaone Ngwanamonna and Promise Ntshese have gained a cult following on social media for their short and snappy skits.
Indeed, with over 183, 000 Facebook followers, the 23-year-old cousins don’t just have a bright future, they are dazzling in the present!
The dynamic duo – better known as VanGauteng and Rihanna – have enjoyed a brisk rise through the ranks of local comedy, with both taking up the genre in the last two years.
Their success is hardly a surprise; indeed it was prophesized!
In an exclusive interview with Voice Entertainment this week, Ngwanamonna revealed she was encouraged to pursue comedy by former funnyman turned prophet, Joel ‘Ntsoro’ Keitumele.
“It all started in 2018 when I went to Ntsoro’s church just to see how he does things because I grew up watching him doing comedy. It happened that whilst he was preaching he called me up to the front and told me that he sees me surpassing him in the comedy industry; that was when I started to do comedy,” explained the Gabane native who hasn’t looked back since.
A big part of the ladies’ success is their on-screen chemistry. Away from the cameras, they are just as close, with Ngwanamonna describing her cousin as ‘more like a sister’.
“I did three skits solo when I started. But as time progressed I brought my sister on board as some of the skits needed two people,” she said, adding the newcomers initially found it difficult to establish themselves in what is essentially a male-dominated industry.
“It was not easy as people did not know us. Furthermore, in our country most people who do comedy are men but that did not despair us from pursuing our talents. We believed we could do it!”
As Ntsoro predicted, Ngwanamonna’s perseverance has paid off.
She attributes her rise with Ntshese to a simple but crucial recipe: people can relate to their skits.
“As much as comedy brings humour and laughter to the fans, most of our plays are message-oriented. They usually portray incidents or situations which affect people on their daily basis and how they can overcome those particular incidents going forward,” she said, noting the public reception has been overwhelming.
“Our fans have been so loving and appreciative of our work. We promise to continue giving them the best as we recently collaborated with well-known comedians such as Mawee,” disclosed the young woman, beaming with excitement at what the future holds for her brand.
However, as with most creatives in Botswana, one challenge both Ngwanamonna and Ntshese face is cashing in on their talents.
“Often we are not paid as per the agreement and that kills our morale because we always do our best to give them value for their money and next thing we know we do not get paid like we originally agreed!”