Jack Devnarain, popularly known as Rajesh from "Isidingo". Picture: Supplied

Parliament - Jack Devnarain, better known as Rajesh Kumar in the South Africa soapie Isidingo, lobbied for the rights of performing artists as he was interviewed for a position on the public broadcaster board on Thursday by MPs.

Devnarain, who is also chairman of the South African Guild of Actors (SAGA), said he believed contracts the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has with independent producers and performing artists needed to be reviewed.

The SABC, he said could play a major role in advancing performing arts in the country and as well as contributing to the economy.

"We haven't even begun to understand the true potential of arts and culture as an actual commodity in this economy," said Devnarain.

He cited international productions being filmed in South Africa and not a single South African being cast as a "singular embarrassment".

While he conceded he still had much to learn, Devnarain believed the SABC could be brought out of crisis by stopping "party political contamination".

Rajesh was trending on twitter in South Africa as MPs, many of them Isidingo fans, constantly referred to him by his character's name on Isidingo.

When it was time for African National Congress MP Mziwamadoda Kalako to ask his question, he quipped: "I almost said Rajesh because Isidingo is my favourite soapie. I only watch South African soapies."

Kalako's colleague Mondli Gungubele also appeared to be starstruck.

"Can I call you Rajesh....you make us late for work sometimes," Gungubela said to the smiling actor.

As the interview ended and Devnarain walked out of the room, one MP could be heard whispering to him: "What happens next on Isidingo?"