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Gay story needed to be told, says actor

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iol tonight pic sipho ekasi 2

Remember Senzo and Jason’s gay kiss on SABC1’s Generations? Well, actor Sipho “C-ga” Masebe ups the ante with his risqué role in Imfihlo: The Secret, which is part of e.tv’s third season of eKasi: Our Stories.

Despite looks that could easily have him pass for a model, and spending several years on Jozi’s cut-throat entertainment scene making a name for himself, Masebe remains an unassuming guy.

“I started acting in 2003 in A Place Called Home. My character, Lennox, was a womaniser with babies everywhere. He was a very shady character and that was a great opportunity for me. After that, I did Tshisa, where I played Sam, a drug dealer,” he says.

Masebe’s other credits include Mr Bones, where he bagged a small role as a caddie, and Rhythm City.

“I just had a few lines in Mr Bones, but it was a great opportunity and was good for my CV,” he reckons.

On inhabiting dark characters, Masebe says: “I like to play characters that inspire and motivate.”

And he got to explore the realm of presenting on Selimathunzi.

“I was very fortunate because Baby Joe believed in and groomed me. He gave me an opportunity to expose my talents. And Akin Omotoso (A Place Called Home) also helped me in my career. I have much respect for them,” he says.

Getting back to him giving the nod to play the gay Mandla Morakabe in Imfihlo: The Secret, he says: “When they gave us a brief of the storyline, a lot of people were uncomfortable. As a professional actor, I had to step out of my comfort zone.

“Also, I felt strongly about the story needing to be told.”

To put viewers in the picture, Mandla embarks on an affair with a married businessman called Thoriso Maseko. If the kiss between Senzo and Jason was enough to create an uproar, let’s just say Masebe’s steamy scenes in the short film will give people something more to get hot under the collar about.

“Listen, it was a bit challenging when we shot the movie. There were scenes that were quite explicit and intense. In fact, they had to move most of the crew outside, so that we could have a closed set,” he reveals.

While he hasn’t got around to telling his “conservative mom” about his role, the actor is proud of his work as it helps people in similar circumstances understand their situation.

“I’ve already started getting calls complimenting me on the show after seeing the trailer,” says Masebe.

Aside from his charity work, running a soup kitchen with his mom every Monday and Tuesday in Alexandra, Masebe is working on his second album, Urban Rain.

Now that he has a firm footing in the industry, Masebe continues to be calculated in his career decisions. As the brand ambassador of Patrón and Ice Watch, he says: “I’m one of the cleanest brands. And I am a person who likes to make a difference and maintaining that clean-cut image certainly helps. I don’t respect people who gloat about their money but don’t give back.”

Hmm, maybe Nonhle Thema might want to take a page out of Masebe’s book… we can but hope!

lImfihlo: The Secret airs on e.tv at 9 tonight.

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Anonymous, wrote

IOL Comments
12:53pm on 25 November 2011
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its high time people live to accept gays as part of their society...the story was motivating thanx very much

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emmanuel zitha, wrote

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04:09pm on 22 November 2011
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da story was interestng i luvd it a lot t time people learnt about gay life....thumbs up!!!

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Anonymous, wrote

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09:24am on 22 November 2011
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it was most offensive and i am not talking about the acting. As an artist and a gay man, "the secret'' was clearly non-reflective of gay culture and it continues to perpetuate stereotypical ideas about gay men. The characters were not arched and displayed very little exposition. Being gay is far more than just wrecking heterosexual marriages, drinking and being promiscuous. It would be nice, to be shown in good light for a change. it was pathetic

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deepa, wrote

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09:28am on 22 November 2011
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I believe God makes us as we are. Being gay in most cases is not a choice, its genetics.Well dont Sipho, you and the cast were amazing last night. I was not expection that much action. I admire your bravery in taking on this role. Congrats.

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ken, wrote

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02:03am on 22 November 2011
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Wow, I must say I löve the way he act in this episode of 'ekasi' but the kissing scene was too intense, lik both men where actually into the kissing. Great job Mandla Sipho masebe, more grease to your elbow. *cheers*

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Charles, wrote

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02:34pm on 21 November 2011
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this is just what we've been waiting for and it's just the beginning,we'll bring more of such stories cause they exist and they need to be told.I'm glad that though i'm gay but I live by the word and against all his dislikes.I have one partner and sleep with one.I fight all demons that whisper in my ear that my manhood will be defined by how many boys I sleep with.I'm out to prove that being gay is no reason a son of man will be prohibited in heaven just because of who he enters the bedroom with. Come on gay community let's respect ourselves,our community let's give them what they think we really don't have and excel in it.

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Tumi_Manamela, wrote

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12:47pm on 21 November 2011
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I cant wait to watch this episode. I also cant wait to read people's social networks comments on it.

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