DURBAN - With exactly four days left until the curtain lifts on the SA Film and Television Awards, the who’s who of the country’s film industry are putting the finishing touches to their ensembles for the prestigious event taking place next week at Sun City Superbowl.
This is the 12th year of the awards which recognise the work of creatives in the film and TV industry, awarding them the coveted Golden Horn.
The introduction of Mzansi Magic to the market in 2010 saw the launch of many telenovelas and dramas whose actors today are dominating the nomination list.
These include Sdumo Mtshali for best actor in the TV drama Is’thunzi. Isibaya actor Siyabonga Thwala who won a Safta for best actor in a TV soapie in 2014, is nominated in this category this year.
Thwala, from uMlazi, also scooped best actor in a TV drama for his role in Intersexion in 2014. He is no stranger to these awards, collecting his first Golden Horn in 2007 for his role as Vusi Zwane in e.tv’s soapie Scandal.
Nominations in the category for best actor include only those from Isibaya, Isithembiso and Ring Of Lies.
Meanwhile, Mtshali, from Durban, was nominated for best achievement by lead actor in a TV drama for his role as Ndumiso Khumalo in Saints and Sinners in 2016.
Speaking to The Independent on Saturday on his nomination this year, Mtshali, who is a Durban University of Technology alumni, said it felt good to be recognised by his peers.
He broke onto the acting scene after winning SABC1’s reality TV show Class Act. He has played a number of different characters from a policeman in the award-winning film iNumber Number to aggressive Mandla in Is’thunzi – a contrast to the soft spoken Ndumiso in Saints and Sinners.
He said at some point he was shooting scenes for these various characters at the same time and this tested his acting skills as he made sure that each of the characters was unique to the story.
“I always find a way to be different with each character, this is what storytelling is about – I live storytelling. Besides, using the acting training I have had, it’s always important to know what you want to say to your audience with each role you play,” he added.
When asked whether his own personality didn’t drown in the characters when the cameras had been turned off, Mtshali replied that the characters always lingered.
“They’re always there but a break is good, it’s crazy but not as crazy as it seems. As an actor you have to find your own method of getting out of character, that’s how I’ve been working over the years. I used to do 10 plays at a time and only played the lead role while at school. I used my own method to get out of character.”
Mtshali began acting in primary school, saying he was lucky to have supportive parents who recognised the potential in him.
“Later while growing up, I was involved in anything that had to do with acting – I went to plays at the Durban Playhouse and my parents could see that my hyper personality and madness was with a purpose – a love for acting.”
He advised aspiring actors to continuously seek ways of evolving in their craft and not just sit and wait for their big break.
“Go to theatres, watch more shows to grow yourself – write, read more books, do anything related to the industry.”
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