Nkanyiso Makhanya has set goals for himself and is determined to achieve them.  
Picture: Supplied
Nkanyiso Makhanya has set goals for himself and is determined to achieve them. Picture: Supplied

#YouthDay: From kid presenter to Uzalo actor

By Alyssia Birjalal Time of article published Jun 16, 2019

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From young presenter on e.tv’s Craz-e to acting on the most watched soap on TV, Nkanyiso Makhanya has set goals for himself and is determined to achieve them. 
The actor who plays Nkululeko Njeza Xaba, who went to jail for killing his abusive father in hopes of protecting his loved ones. 
Currently on the show he is out of jail and lives in KwaMushu in a small house with his family. 

26- year old Makhanya talks to us about being a youth actor on TV. 

Do you prefer playing roles younger than you are?  
I have never had the opportunity to play older roles, I’ve always played younger characters. For me right now, it’s very important to play younger characters because these are the spaces I move in. People that are my age group. I get to see how they think, act and react. It’s important for me to rely that message to South Africans so people know how we think as young people and how we move in this generation. But in the upcoming years I would love to play older roles. 

What are your thoughts on #openuptheindustry?
Open up the industry is a talk that I have seen on social media for a long time, it still a trending topic. Uzalo has been opening up the industry from its first season. They have new faces and younger people, some you’ve never seen on TV before. The show has also given me the opportunity as an actor to act on such a big platform. They are definitely playing their role in opening up the industry and I think other production houses should follow suite and 
allow youth to showcase their talent and dreams and what we have to offer as young South Africans. We are a very talented nation. 

What are some issues youth face now? 
Peer and social pressures. I think social media is one of the biggest contributing  factors of these issues. Social media gives the idea of instant gratification and as youth we want everything right now. We need to put aside this the idea of instant gratification. We need to work hard and focus on what we want. Set goals for yourself and achieve them. 

What advice would you give youngsters? 
We need to focus on ourselves and stop expecting people to do things for us. We need to get up and do it for ourselves. Set daily goals to make sure you are getting closer and closer to your dream. I didn't necessarily have a qualification or experience in the media industry so I worked at a community TV station and started at the bottom as an intern and then grew from there. 

What’s the one thing you do everyday? 
Work hard and always remind myself that I can do better. I let myself know that I need to focus on myself because no one is going to help me if I don’t help myself. I just try to better self every day. A grasp knowledge wherever I can. 

Where do you see yourself in five years? 
I want to be doing movies. I want to do action movies. I also see myself as a radio host and playing more characters on TV. I also want to do theatre stage work. 

Who are your role models? 
South African actor Menzi Ngubane, he has grown on TV. He is an amazing actor. My other role models are Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt among others. 

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