With voting open for all categories for this year’s DStv Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Awards, we’ve been going over each of them, giving some of our opinions on what makes the category or its nominees great. This week, we focus on Favourite Actor, and the list of great thespians that make it up.
Born in 1987 in KwaZulu-Natal, Abdul Khoza first rose to prominence in 2011 after winning the second season of the reality competition, Class Act, in 2011. Originally working as a fireman in Durban, Khoza relocated to Johannesburg to pursue his dream of working as an actor, landing his debut role in Intersexions in 2013.
After that, he landed a series of roles in a variety of productions including The Road, Kings of Jo’burg and Isibaya. Recently, there was something of stir on social media after the character he currently plays on The Wife – Nqobizita Zulu – was shot in one of the episodes, sparking concern that the character – and Khoza by extension – would no longer be appearing on the show. It’s no surprise, then, that he finds himself on the list of nominees for Favourite Actor.
Abdul Khoza can be seen on The Wife on Showmax.
While a little older than Abdul Khoza, Xaluva is also an alumnus of Kings of Jo’burg as well as Blood Psalms, Knuckle City, The Throne, The Queen, Gomora… you get the idea. He’s been around.
Originally from the Eastern Cape, Xaluva moved with his family to Johannesburg when he was 11, and later to Pretoria where he matriculated. After financial difficulties forced him to drop out of his media course at university, he returned to Port Elizabeth and joined an arts group that performed plays for schools. Later, he took another shot at tertiary education, bagging the precious piece of paper in 2003.
He recently received a lifetime achievement award during the Special MEX Awards ceremony held in East London by the Eastern Cape Department of Sports, Arts and Culture. Not too bad, hey.
Xaluva was a cast member in the first two seasons of Gomora, available on Showmax.
While it is true the Thapelo Sebogodi comes from a certain acting heritage – his father is famous for his role in the sitcom Suburban Bliss – nobody is in any doubt that he’s earned himself respect in his own right. He’s worked in both theatre and television, as well as television that is based on theatre, namely Deon Opperman’s Donkerland. And yes, he’s shared the stage with his father in Flak My Son.
Other notable contributions to South African entertainment include roles in Lithapo, Greed & Desire, Strike Back and – most famously – the award-winning The River. This last entry is currently available – for your viewing pleasure – on Showmax.
Bonko Khoza has been around, and by that we mean “around the world”. While his local work is mostly in the arena of commercials, he’s made a name for himself in the international scene – Khoza has been nominated as Best Actor at the Tribeca Film Festival, appeared in a remake of Roots, and took on the leading role in Beautifully Broken, the feature directorial debut by Eric Welsh. Consequently, he can list among his colleagues the likes of Tom Welling, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Jodie Foster.
The elder statesman on this list, Vusi Kunene has been around the block a few times, having performed in 25 different films and television series since 1993, including the landmark Cry, the Beloved Country, A Reasonable Man, Jacob’s Cross, Isidingo, Generations, etc., etc. His efforts have earned him nominations at assorted award shows in the past, and he took home the Golden Horn for Best Actor thanks to his efforts in Soul City.
Hailing from Meadowlands in Soweto, Kunene’s latest acting efforts see him in the flamboyant lead role in House of Zwide. He’s also contributed to the success of Gomora, available on Showmax.
Voting is open in all categories for this year’s awards ceremony, and you can have your say here.