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RIP: Comedian behind viral phrase ‘Kata simu tupo site’ passes away

Fans of Tanzanian comedian Umar Iahbedi Issa, famously known as Mzee Mjegeje, are in mourning.

The iconic comedian, best known for his viral video clip “Kata simu tupo site” (Hang up the phone, we are on site), breathed his last on Wednesday, March 20, morning at Mwananyamala Hospital in Dar es Salaam, where he was undergoing medical treatment.

Real Jimmy, the manager of the renowned comedian, confirmed the sad news but did not disclose the illness that led to his demise.

Mzee Mjegeje, also recognized as “Raisi wa Bagamoyo,” was a resident of Bagamoyo in the Pwani region of Tanzania.

His fame transcended borders, reaching international acclaim, particularly in Kenya in 2022 when his video “Kata simu, tupo site” went viral on social media platforms.

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In the widely-circulated video, the comedic maestro could be seen conversing on a small phone, uttering the now-iconic lines, “Kata simu, kata simu, tupo site. We don’t like disturbance of the head, you understand.”

Since then, the humorous phrases from the video have been widely used in memes, and even some other artists have incorporated them into their songs.

The passing of Mzee Mjegeje marks the end of an era in Tanzanian comedy, leaving behind a legacy of laughter and joy.

He is survived by a wife and one child.