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AWARD-winning film-maker, writer and producer Ndaba ka Ngwane (pictured) recently swopped positions from behind the camera to being in front of it, in the popular soapie Rhythm City.
Now expanding his career into acting, ka Ngwane began shooting with the weekday soap in September. The episodes he features in will begin airing in the first week of December.
Tonight caught up with him to chat about his debut soapie role, and he explained that what happened quite by accident has turned out to be milestone in his career.
“When I got this role I was actually at my agent’s place to discuss a script. She said I should go to the auditions for this role and I got it. I never saw myself as an actor, it was not what I expected, but it’s all been very exciting,” he said.
In Rhythm City Ka Ngwane will play the role of Freddie, a nice guy who is the father of one of the children at the crèche where Victoria (Molobane Mbatha) goes to work. He has a crisis during Victoria’s first day and she takes his daughter home to look after her.
This brings them together and he is attracted to Victoria, until Miles (Peter Se-Puma) moves in. Things get really tense between Miles and Freddie.
“I started shooting in September and it’s been great. There are obviously big differences between doing a feature film and doing soapies. In feature films we shoot about four or five scenes a day, here we shoot much more and it’s quite fast with the use of multi-cameras and editing as you shoot.
“So it’s a very different experience… The cast have been great to work with,” he explained.
Ka Ngwane wrote, produced and directed the multi-award-winning feature film Uhlanga – The Mark, in which he played a cameo role as an irresponsible school teacher. The movie, currently on high rotation on Mzansi Magic, features the popular Zulu poet Sbo Da Poet; and Ukhozi FM’s Linda Sibiya. It scooped five awards last year at the Zanzibar International Film Festival and an African Movie Academy Award for the best cinematography.
Ka Ngwane said film is not out of the picture yet. “At the moment I’m juggling film and TV. I’ve just finished my script Jay Jay – She Must Die Before she Lives. In all my writing from books to theatre to short films and even with Uhlanga, I always tell stories of hope.
“This movie is about a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old from a well-off family and how the two siblings chose different paths in life, with one of them heading down the path of rebellion. We journey with her on this road,” he added.
But for now, ka Ngwane is focusing on his soap debut: “I feel it’s a natural pro- gression of who I am as an artist. I’ve always thought of myself as being a diverse artist. I’m very grateful for all the support of friends and family and my community of KZN. I am also a spiritual person and I believe my path has been created by the one above. I am very grateful.”