He’s a firecracker in the reception when we meet, towering over us in combat boot heels and sunglasses.
“I am this energetic. I am lively, and it let's people know that I am here, but its also the amount of coffee I drink daily. I drink a lot of coffee”, he said as he took his seat opposite us.
It's not surprising that Khaya and his character on Uzalo GC are so similar, they both have an energy that can’t be contained or matched, but what is interesting is how GC came to be on the soapie.
“GC actually stood for Gay Character, so my character actually had no name until a few episodes into the soapie, when they decided to tell GC’s story and give him the name Gamakhulu Cetshwayo and give him a back story which I think was great”, Dladla told us.
Khaya then went on to describe the interesting dynamics about his character, especially when the writers decided to focus on his sexuality.
“It’s a plot twist, because a lot of people were getting used to GC as the gay friend on Uzalo, and then all of a sudden there’s more information about his past, and how its catching up with him”.
However, the most interesting part about Khaya’s journey being GC is on how the actor had not wanted to be an actor at all.
“I actually never wanted to be on TV, I was happy with theatre”, Dladla explained.
“It’s the first time I’ve been on a project this long. I’m so used to doing theatre projects that are busy, and would need us to perform across the country and even to country like Belgium. So, I’ve never actually sat down and rested between projects, so this is a really long project for me”.
But when asked about any recent theatre projects, Dladla was very eager to tell us more about his performance on the 70's musical by the legendary Gibson Kente.
“It’s a show called How Long, that was written by the legendary township theatre king Gibson Kente. It was played by Mary Twala, Ndaba Mhlongo, other big names and it was last staged in 1972… The music on the show is incredible, the choreography - Somizi Mhlongo is the choreographer with Vusi Majola. The play is directed by Duma KaNdlovu”. “I play the lead there”, he said beaming with excitement.
“This is the character that was originally played by Ndaba Mhlongo, called uBatata. I act alongside Phindile Gwala, Mondli Makoba, and Ma Thembi Mtshali. It’s the craziest lineup. People are going love it!”.
Although a fresh face to the world of television and with an award for best supporting actor from Uzalo, Khaya has more than twenty years of experience in theatre under his belt, and it shows through his portrayal as GC on Uzalo.
The Uzalo star says his next step is to venture in broadcasting.
He is also a musician in the making, a growing theatre veteran with a diva for an alter ego.
Khaya Dladla is slowly taking over the arts, and we can’t sleep on him any more.
* Catch Uzalo weekdays at 8:30pm on SABC 1.