Theatre actor Mthokozisi Zulu asks if youth are 'really free'

Mthokozisi Zulu Picture: Val Adamson

Mthokozisi Zulu Picture: Val Adamson

Published Jun 30, 2020


A familiar face in the theatre scene is Mthokozisi Zulu from KickstArt Theatre Productions. 

The stage actor has been a part of a number of local productions like "Peter Pan", "Sinbad The Sailor", "The Play That Goes Wrong" and "Super Mokoena", which won a theatre award. 

The-29 year-old also writes his own plays, like "The Crook's Eye" and "Lions And Liquids". 

Zulu chatted to us about his career in the arts and what Youth Month means to him. 

How did you get into acting? 

I watched my first theatrical performance when I was 15 and that day, I fell in love with theatre. The following year, I auditioned for a production and made it into the show. From there, the rest is history. 

I studied drama in high school and continued to study it at the Durban University of Technology, graduating Cum Laude. Of course I also worked whilst studying so I could create a name for myself and learn as much as I could through the experience in the industry on and off stage. 

Why not TV?

Theatre is live and there are no cuts. It is a piece of life on stage cut from real moments which get to be experienced with the audience. We all get to go to a far away land and escape for that moment. 

That live element can never be experienced on a square box. I love film and television, but theatre will always have a place in my heart because it is me from the rising of the tabs to the falling of them after that bow.

What advice do you have for younger people entering the world of stage performing? 

Learn as much as you can, not only about being on stage but also being off and back stage. 

Understand the responsibilities of everyone working around you to make you look best when lights are up on your face. 

Be humble and always eager to work. Always remember, there are no small roles. Always leave your heart on stage because you always have only one shot-one take.

What does Youth Day mean to you?

To me, it's a chance provided to me on a silver platter. A reminder of the blood that was spilled for me to have an opportunity. As an artist, it reminds me of the freedom of being able to continue creating and expressing myself through this God given talent.

What challenges do youth face today?

One of the biggest challenges youth face today is having their mouths shut. 

Sometimes you apply for funding and have to say certain things that you don’t want to say. If you say certain things that they don’t want people to hear, then your project is rejected. 

I know for sure that I am always battling with this fine line of being able to express myself fully but in such a clever way that I’m not shut up. 

I also know that youth in different industries are battling as well and ask themselves this question: Are we truly free?

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