It’s been a busy year for Maleka – other than his existing duties as a thespian on The River, he also pulled hosting duties for the long-awaited return of Big Brother Mzansi, a 10-week marathon of an exercise that saw Maleka shake some tables and scare Housemates. Now, he’s set to be front and centre during the return of yet another Mzansi Magic favourite – the DStv Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Awards.
Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, we didn’t get to have the show on our screens last year, so the February announcement that it would be coming back was met with some enthusiasm. As per usual, the awards will be honouring a wide range of entertainment industry luminaries, and we will have plenty to write about them as the time comes. Right now, we’re going to show a little bit of love to Maleka.
Born in Soweto, the self-taught Maleka first made it into the public eye where he was picked as the presenter of The Gadget Show on Soweto TV, followed by success on several other shows, including Star Gist and All Access Mzansi. His major break-through came when he replaced Bonang Matheba as the host of South Africa’s version of Clash of the Choirs.
“When it comes to being a [TV] personality,” he says, “I try make it as authentic as possible, because the one thing I can never believe is that a presenter is happy all the time. It becomes disingenuous.”
As an actor, he hasn’t been any kind of slouch. His first shot at acting on screen was with the Mzansi Magic soap, Isibaya, and then his critically-acclaimed portrayal of Zolani on The River, which earned him the Golden Horn for Best Supporting Actor in a Telenovela at the 2019 South African Film and Television Awards.
His taste in music is also eclectic – which is a bonus for somebody hosting an awards show with musical categories. His personal playlist includes the likes of Jay-Z, Florence and the Machine, CrashCarBurn, Hugh Masekela and Abdulla Ibrahim. That’s a fair bit of variety.
Lawrence will be holding down tonight’s launch of the DStvMVCAs (try saying that ten times fast), and will be guiding voters through the process until the big event on 25 June. We’re going to get to know him quite well.