He’s a man of many talents, and so far acting is the one that is putting him on top.
A fresh face to the television screens, Nay Maps grew his fan base when he joined the cast of Uzalo, starring in the role of Mxolisi Zulu. A singer, actor and businessman, Nay Maps says that it all boils down to passion. “I love what I do, and I love capturing the hearts of the viewers through Uzalo, because Mxolisi is a complex character, but he actually relates to a lot of people”, he says
So, this begs the questions, who is Nay Maps? “Nay Maps means overwhelming prosperity and success…. it's a combination of my first name Nkosinathi and my last name Maphalala,” the Uzalo star explained when asked about the meaning of his stage name.
“My vision is to be an international movie star.Hollywood, Africa, South Africa... telling truthful stories that will touch and impact lives.”
Along with his aspirations to reach the international audience, Nay Maps said that more than anything, he wants to create opportunities for young people who also want to pursue television as a career.
The Pretoria-born star said that he drew inspiration to help upcoming artists from his “close knit” family on Uzalo.
He added that he felt honoured to work with some of the industry heavyweights, the likes of Leleti Khumalo who played his mother (Manzuza), Baby Cele ( his aunt Gabisile) and Dawn Thandeka King (MaNgcobo), the woman he initially thought was his mother.
“It's actually a dream come true, it's an honour, it is exciting, it also bring with it a lot pressure and expectation”, he began. “...here I was as a newcomer on the same set with some of my favourite actors, people that I grew up watching on TV. It's priceless”.
As he spoke about his time on the show, he recalled how he waited for six months before he was told that he got the part, but that he also felt fortunate that he didn’t struggle too much to get into the industry.
Nay Maps. Picture: Instagram
“My first audition was for a show called Diary of a Zulu Girl or something like that. They said ‘we love you, we will come back to you’ but I never heard anything from them”, he explained.
“My second audition was for Uzalo, it was an open audition, though I had to wait for six months before I was told I got the role, I never lost hope. I had a good feeling about it because I really wanted to be on the show….even if it was just for a small role.”
Before Uzalo, Nay Maps had a cameo role on Mzansi Magic’s Isibaya. A role which he says prepared him for his role as Mxolisi.
“That role as small as it was at the time, contributed a lot to my success as Mxolisi.”
Nay Maps told us that acting has been a big dream of his among his other achievements and goals, but he is not neglecting his other talents, music and his passion for fashion.
His recently launched clothing label, Nay Maps Clothing seems to be thriving.
“My clothing line is a holistic brand. I want people to know that they’re loved...even before they read the back of the wash care tag”, which reads “You are loved and God loves you”. People need to be reminded that they are loved.”
Talking about love, Nay Maps says that he is still single, but mentions that all the hopefuls can submit their portfolio and that he may consider. “They can send through their CV, and we’ll see who is the lucky girl”, he added with a slight blush on his face.
When the conversation moved to his music, Nay Maps could not stop beaming with excitement when he spoke about his long awaited single, which drops in a few months.
Nay Maps -whose passion for music was influenced by his father- says he cannot wait for Mzansi to hear his “fresh sound”.
“I'm still working on the title of the song but the theme is feel good, loving, fun vibe. I'm coming up with a fresh sound. It’s combination of trap, hip hop, R&B with a base of soul".
So just how does this jack of all trades juggle acting, music and his businesses?
“Honestly I am taking it one day at a time”, he explained. “For instance, I’m on set 12 hours a day but when I get home, I contact my clothing reps in each city to check how the sales are going, to discuss designs etc. After that I go through my lines and my songwriting as well”.
It’s true what God says that “To whom much is given, much is expected”, somehow the universe makes all these things to fit into place for this actor.
* Catch Uzalo on SABC 1, weekdays at 8:30pm.
Connect with Nay Maps on @naymaps on Instagram.