Andile Gumbi from the popular soapie ‘Isibaya’ on Mzansi Magic has allegedly been axed and has missed shoots due to heavy drinking. M-Net public relations denies this and tells fans to keep watching to see how Gumbi’s character exits the show. Picture: Supplied

Durban - Isibaya lead actor Andile Gumbi has not shown up for work to have his character Zweli killed from the popular soapie on Mzansi Magic.

It is alleged Gumbi has been giving producers a hard time with his “boozing”, which often led to him missing work, and they have decided to axe him.

Gumbi has been with Isibaya since 2014.

A source within the production told the Sunday Tribune that management of Bomb Productions had tried everything to help Gumbi, including booking him into a rehabilitation centre in 2016.

However, the source said his behaviour had not changed as he continued to miss shoots due to his alleged excessive drinking.

“Producers have sat down with him many times advising him to change his behaviour. Andile got so many opportunities. He has a problem with excessive drinking, he likes alcohol and it’s made him miss shoots which delayed the production.

“Producers really cared about him. They went as far as sending him to a rehab last year. That’s what they always do with troublesome cast members. If it doesn’t work out, then they show you the door,” said the source.

The source said at times the actor would pitch up at work appearing drunk and tired.

“You could see he must have had a very hectic weekend boozing. Sometimes he would just be absent, a driver would go to pick him up from his place and not find him there.”

The source said his last appearance as Zweli on the show was expected to be on July 31, where his character would be killed in a car crash, due to his wife Sihle tampering with the vehicle.

However Gumbi has gone awol and did not film his final episode last week.

The popular actor, who has been part of the Lion King production, is from KwaZulu-Natal, and last year made headlines when he was arrested for allegedly beating his wife, who charged him with assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Gumbi could not be reached for comment, with his cellphone ringing to voicemail.

Head of public relations at M-Net, Nondumiso Mabece, confirmed Gumbi was leaving Isibaya but denied he was fired.

“He was not fired at all. He will be filming a movie. We wish him all the success with his career and appreciate his contribution on Isibaya while portraying the character of Zweli. Keep on watching to see how he exits,” said Mabece.

Sunday Tribune