Comedian Eric Mabedi aka Jakobo says his collaborator the late John Nyanga alias Izeki has left a big gap which will never be replaced in their Izeki ndi Jakobo skit.
Mabedi was paying his last homage to his long-time friend and collaborator who was buried at HHI cemetery in Blantyre on Tuesday.
Nyanga died on Sunday at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre after a long illness.
But Mabedi described Nyanga’s death not only as a blow to their business, but also his personal life.
“John was like a brother to me. John was me and he was Jakobo. But his death has left a big gap that will never be filled. It’s hard to forget a best friend and maintain Izeki ndi Jakobo skit because it was a unique combination. I am at loss of words,” he mourned.
Izeki ndi Jacobo became a household name since the 1980s when the duo took the entertainment industry by storm with their remarkable skits.
Mabedi said Izeki ndi Jacobo was born through a Mid-week Magazine radio programme on MBC Radio 1.
“We had things in common and that is why we managed to build a long-lasting relationship which was built on love, trust and mutual respect,” said the actor.
Among other things, Mabedi and Nyanga both happen to come from the Lhomwe belt and were born six days apart.
Mabedi comes from Mpira village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Kadewere in Chiradzulu while Nyanga came from Nyangayathyoka Village in T/A Mabuka in Mulanje.
Nyanga was born on June 13 1963 while Mabedi was born six days later.
“My brother John was just six days older than me. But we had an inseparable relationship which will never be replaced,” said Mabedi.
Writer Willie Zingani, in whose plays Nyanga acted, described the departed thespian as immortal.
“Izeki was an immortal. And, as Izeki ndi Jacobo, they were in a class of their own. They were the first duo to adapt my book Madzi Akataika into a performance. Since then they have been entertaining the country. So, his death marks a sad chapter of comedy and drama in the country,” said Zingani.
Lloyd Zawanda of Joy FM, where Nyanga worked from 2004, said the fallen comedian helped to improve the listenership of the radio.
“He was both innovative and had a sense of homour which contributed to an improved listenership for Joy FM. He used to host a programme called Chiyambi which had large listenership,” he said. n