Art, Culture
Mdu Comics

Izikhokho Cartoons

by Andy Davis / 25.07.2011

Imagine a universe where South Africa is under siege from the Swazis and Sothos and the only people standing in their way is a character named Zulu Boy and his friend Rudolph, an alien who sounds suspiciously white and suburban. There’s Jesus of the ANC who visits Zulu Boy in his sleep and tells him that the lord wants him to transfer money on the computer. A world where Shaka Zulu battles with the legendary samurai Hattori Hanzo and kicks his ass alongside Bonang the Camel Toe and the shaky hand of Madala at the Manhood School. This the wicked world of the Izikhokho Show.

Mdu’s Comics have been going viral all over the interweb for some time now with a slew of handmade animation classics like Jesus of the ANC, Shaka Zulu vs Hattori Hanzo and the Izikhokho Show. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about click here and take the next hour to get yourself up to speed. We thought it was high time we touched base with comic artist Mdu Ntuli, the man behind Mdu Comics.

Where are you from, where’d you go to school? How’d you get into comic animation? What do your parents, friends, ex-girlfriends think of your chosen career? 

I’m from Witbank Emalahleni Mpumalanga, I did my schooling there and my tertiary at Wits. Drawing cartoons was just a hobby at first. But that changed after working for Rico (the Madam and Eve cartoonist) years ago as an intern. I don’t even think my mom understands what I do til today. Sometimes I think she wants me to be a policeman. My ex-girlfriends liked it at first until they realize that it doesn’t make any money, then…

Eish… So how did Mdu Comics come about?

I remember re-drawing Ninja Turtles from magazines in my childhood. I also remember getting the first copy of Spawn from a friend which inspired me to do my own comic book. But the one event that made decide to take it seriously was when I drew a cartoon for the Wits University newspaper that everybody liked. The cartoon was so good that one of my lecturers had it pasted on the wall of his office while he was grilling me about my poor academic performance.

Mdu Comics

What’s the backstory to Zulu Boy?

After doing a few animated cartoons for Red Pepper & Urban Brew it was time to attempt it on my own. Zuluboy & Rudolph was my first no-budget creation where everybody volunteered to do it. After we came from the studio we were so convinced it was going to flop with the number of errors we made in the recording. But when we mixed everything up those errors made these characters lovable.

What’s your day job?

I am graphic designer, programmer and illustrator that is what pays the bills.

What’s the plan with Zulu Boy – where’s it going from here?

For now it’s just to produce more web content when we can, unfortunately. But the master plan is a full length movie.

What’s the story arc?

Mnaka and Gogo Moloi want to take over South Africa because their countries (Swaziland and LeSotho) are surrounded by South Africa. Zuluboy and his alien friend Rudolph help us by fight these two.

The Izikhokho Show

How come Rudolph is an alien but he speaks like a whitey? Hang on! What are you trying to say…

Rudolph is supposed to be a super intelligent alien. He is supposed to represent someone who has no background or experience of what it’s like living in South Africa. When we went to the studio everybody volunteered, there wer no auditions and Mike Scott (another brilliant local animator) stepped up and agreed to do Rudolph’s voice and walla!

How does the animation industry in South Africa differ from that overseas?

There’s only one thing; the budget. Budget dictates how much time you have to create the product which in turn affects the quality. In South Africa we just don’t have that luxury.

How difficult is it to make a show like Zulu Boy? How much does it cost? Who funds it? What do you need to get it going big time?

It all boils down to how difficult is it to draw. For me, it’s easy I suppose. It’s just a question of time. I do not know how much it costs officially, but my estimate is anything between R3000 to R15000 per minute, depending on the complexity of the animation. Given those numbers you can see how much we need to go big.

Izikhokho episodes like “Jesus of the ANC” are pretty politically provocative. How much feedback have you got on that. What does your family say?

The “Jesus of the ANC” cartoon was a hit. I even know some ANC people who have it on their phones. I think people understand that it’s just a cartoon. What does my famiIy say? Hands down, the funniest thing they have ever seen.

The Izikhokho Show

Is there a lot of pressure on you? You’re one of the only black animators in the country… and you’re pretty outspoken towards the ANC and the ruling elite. Is there some fall out from that? 

Nobody has called and threatened to sue me, so there’s no pressure. The only pressure I have is to create more content while I have to deliver the paying jobs.

I’m certainly not the only black animator, maybe the only independent one. Many more will emerge, I’m sure of it.

I like the ANC and its policies it’s just that it is surrounded by parasites (People who don’t want to earn their wealth they just want shortcuts).

What would you like to communicate through animated cartoons?

First I want to show the people (my people mostly) that it is possible to make animated cartoons that tell our own stories. I want to communicate everything: comedy, action, drama, education.

What can we expect in the future from Mdu Comics?

I have a strong passion for what I do. And I want expand the skills, the team and genres until one day when we have dedicated channel to broadcast Africa’s animated cartoons. But for now expect some more web clips and a movie sometime soon.

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RESPONSES (273)
  1. Dee Jei Panana says:

    Guys… u rock… dnt stop… just draw and post

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  2. Anonymous says:

    nkoko vs babyjake

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow u doing such a wonderful joB… So do u also do comics of Noko Mashabb? And who is he?

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  4. Ntukzen says:

    Ss

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  5. thapelo says:

    Nice and entertaning videos

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  6. thapelo says:

    K

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  7. Njabulo Q Sithole says:

    U r so funny :-)

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  8. nobuhle ntuli says:

    wow wonderful job.do u know zimasa ntuli??

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  9. So mdu do u assist young people frm poor backrounds who have a passion for art and can do art? says:

    Cmaphu@gmail.com

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  10. bongz says:

    y u ddnt play yo cartoon on SABC, coz u ar vry talented boc?

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  11. Danim says:

    Mdu great job u doin man so how do we download em phela ive bin tryina hv episode 1 n 3 of unhappi husband bt nex ukuyithola baba S’fun kwazi…….

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  12. roxy xaba says:

    i love the way u rpresenting emalahleni….we love u mdu keep putting smiles on our faces

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  13. pwer says:

    I love your contoons I don’t get to see much of them plz sho mw some more I’m you big fan guy keep up the good work you make me lough ayi ayi . Love you

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  14. jan rahlogo says:

    You guys are doing a very good job. I wish you all the best, go on make us laugh

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  15. jbl says:

    i need these videos

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  16. akhona wanner says:

    Yho owens its 2real kuyatshisa ezulwini ndiluza icoplaction lool.

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  17. akhona wanner says:

    Jho Tiko ndizakulumisa ngenja yam ubhobhi mlungu that’s sow funny.

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  18. Mpumelelo Dube says:

    going braaaaaaaa..

    Thumb up0   Thumb down 0

  19. slindile kzn says:

    it a wow keep it up it gud realy gud

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  20. Anonymous says:

    mxm all r pranks

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  21. lesego says:

    I hate dis shit fck dis

    Thumb up1   Thumb down 1

  22. xolani fortune dube says:

    U so talented man,how can l download these vids???

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  23. Taai boss,0/f says:

    Joseph ubulikhonza ….,uzaka umama wabangani bakho nogogo wabangani bakho,kephake selikubulele,guy u are rockng keep up te awesme job nd we are hoping to c u guys at SABC

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  24. akhona wanner says:

    Thatha uqumbe that’s sow funny that vidio we wish A many more vedios 2come with us on scream tv’s

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  25. Njabzero mr cartoons says:

    WOW mans dis z impressive, and i want 2 bcum S.A ZULU cartoonist too, am a gd comic drawer

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  26. Anonymous says:

    Joshep

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  27. sabelo says:

    Mi thatha ngyakupha iscoco cha uyayazi into yakho mf2 bamnandi shame opopayi bakho

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  28. Syanda says:

    Yes

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  29. nkuleko says:

    cool videos malum mdu how can i download unhappy hasband part 3 plz call m if u can 0714375809

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  30. kamogelo says:

    Sho mdu I really lyk ur comics bt I cnt find thm so whr cn I find thm 4 free?

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  31. emanuel says:

    Really like all of your shows guys pliz don’t stop coz now iam addicted thumbs up feLlows.

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  32. Sibusiso Lesley Zulu says:

    “Yaaaa!!! NginTholile ” HHAy !! HHAy!! UJaSoN!!….KeeP Up Da GooD Work My BroeR!!!

    #Mpz Finest!!

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  33. mission#051 says:

    lol funny videos

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  34. mission#051 says:

    lol

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  35. junior motaung says:

    It is good n it rocks

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  36. Anonymous says:

    Hay hay hay I loVE this…u Rock

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  37. Anonymous says:

    Lol vids

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  38. ntsika says:

    i lile watching izikhokho cartoon

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  39. Anonymous says:

    ths rocks a lot

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  40. Mandoza says:

    I like these cartoons, bt th problem is tht I do know how to download thm in my phone. I’ve been trying several times bt I failed and I’m still failng, plz help us brother we wnt thm

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  41. Peace says:

    Hey man u are doin a great job and keep t up.ng’gcwele unhappy husband 3 yooh!!.thumbs up mi man

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  42. Maros says:

    I like Noko

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  43. Lebohang says:

    Cudnt ask for more than ths…ur comics are really gud

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  44. Qhamani mbeki says:

    Mdu braa izikhokho ziya rocker i lyk u noko vs baby jack hahhahahahahahahaha

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  45. Qhamani mbeki says:

    Bt how 2 download these vidioz bra plz help m ur big fun u can call if its possible 0785508869 plzz my bra

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  46. Anonymous says:

    Hhay zyanika inswempu lento!!

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  47. Syanda mthamis says:

    You guys are the best..of the best thumbs up keep up the crazy work

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  48. Banzi says:

    Please tell me Mdu how to download them my man uya rocka fella

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  49. sbongiseni"saintWALKA"jac says:

    Bhuda MDU yo cartoonz r the best kodw I can’t have them because I caan’t download them..

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  50. pauline says:

    Mdu u r dung gud job bt now cn’t download videos on my phone can u plz send them on my email. plzzz mdu

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  51. tinyiko says:

    haaaaaa guys you are doing well i like what you are doing keep it up

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  52. Kabelo says:

    Guys wel done dis is a gud job wrkhrd nehh

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  53. leeobro says:

    president zuma you-are-a-liar
    spin de wheel,,,mmmmm Tokyo sex- whale eh eh eh

    big up a good job im in love wit izikhokho

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  54. andiswa says:

    Hey..u doing a wonderful job..I like phusu..yerr

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  55. spa says:

    Hw do download bra uyarocker

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  56. mzwandile says:

    this videos are proffesionally made locally I like them too much

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  57. litha says:

    Keep up the good work bro I like it. I also want to be the 1, however still working on it, studying Graphics & web design n I realy love it xhym though I’m still looking for internship. If u coul help plz do so.

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  58. Anonymous says:

    u rock rock but i cant download plz help me plz am big fan guzy

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  59. Tonkie Unathi says:

    Mdu u rock! I love ur comics,it’s jst hard 2 download them

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  60. Mac'fason Topher says:

    Nice intresting cartoon!I love the way communication is made and the reactions to circumstance”eish!……its good!

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  61. Mari says:

    hayi!! :) yhoo…..!!!! eish!! you rock> you are just like turning the rock/stone into mud….. lol

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  62. tshepo says:

    No comment at all

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  63. tshepo says:

    No coment at all

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  64. Anonymous says:

    Nam ndingomnye ewaba abnafu0ezcqtoorns

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  65. sihle says:

    how du u download dis vidcz boc i want to hv them plz tel me boc

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  66. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been looking for the longer version of book in high school where they have skhotane where can I find it.

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  67. mlindo says:

    I want to same izikhokho vid

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  68. sbongile says:

    Hayyyi

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  69. Anonymous says:

    ay guys i salute u Mdu u ar one of a kind especially unhappy husband i lv it to death

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  70. msawande mjwara says:

    ay guys i salute u Mdu u ar one of a kind especially unhappy husband i lv it to death

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  71. Phindile Mfakele says:

    u ar dope guyz keep dng ur work its grate especial Noko v.s Zikhothane and Charlie

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