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Lawrence Nkandu, the man behind KASONGO (THE DREAMER) – Ubuntu

25 December 2019
The man playing Kasongo 'The Dreamer' is a big dreamer himself. This exclusive interview intimates what it takes and means for Lawrence Nkandu to bring this iconic role to life
Lucky Nkandu Billboard 1600 x 640

ZM: Lawrence, you play the role of KASONGO 'THE DREAMER' in Ubuntu.

Lawrence: Yes!

ZM: Can you give the viewers (and readers) some insight into who Kasongo is?

Lawrence: Kasongo is an eccentric young fisherman who is [also] an artist. [In my opinion] he is the most misunderstood character in the series and is burdened by a crippling identity crisis. Most of his history is missing, hence he is in a constant struggle to understand himself and his role in the world.

ZM: This seems to have a deep resonance with you. Why?

Lawrence: To me, Kasongo represents so many people who are living their lives without having any personal vision or clear understanding of who they are or what they are here [on earth] to do.

The resonance is that Kasongo embodies the vision carrier and dreamer of the show, only he doesn’t know how powerful his gifts within are.

ZM: There’s a lot more to be expected from the character of Kasongo. Without giving too much away, what can we look forward to from him?

Lawrence: His dreams and visions, though misunderstood by the village of Ubuntu, are the keys that will unlock so many people’s lives and destinies.

I believe many people will relate with Kasongo in his confused state and in his panic because he, like many people, struggle through life trying to find love, acceptance, success and purpose.

ZM: How did you get cast into Ubuntu?

Lawrence: I auditioned for the role of Kasongo, against many other talented actors, and got my call back which led to several other call backs as the producer and casting directors had shortlisted 3 other actors contending for the same role.

ZM: Our platform garners a lot of interest from aspiring actors and actresses. What can you tell us about the audition and casting process, to give them some insight into how you got your break?

Lawrence: It was very intimidating. The whole screen test experience was very demanding. I started thinking it was not going to happen for me.

The last audition required me to lose my beard - which was part of my trade mark look as an artist. It was very painful when the producer asked me to shave it off - and he made it clear that there was no guarantee that even after I shaved [the beard], [that] I would get the role.

I really wanted it SO badly [that] I was willing to give up everything. Finally when it seemed like all hope was lost I was called in to sign my contract. One of the happiest moments [of] my life I can’t lie.

ZM: Inspiring! Tell us, who do you look up to as an actor? Locally.

Lawrence: Locally, there are many [humble] people I look up to, who have not quite achieved ALL their goals but have done much against stiff odds. So I am still watching them to see them achieve what they set out to achieve.

ZM: That’s a very mature outlook from a young man like yourself Lawrence, how old are you?

Lawrence: 21

ZM: What keeps you grounded?

Lawrence: Prayer and faith are the pillars that hold me [up] in life.

ZM: You are more than an actor. Can you tell us about your other passions and projects?

Lawrence: Aside from being an actor, I  am a graphic designer and videographer. I help upcoming talent with branding, and assist with developing music videos for those who have real passion and talent – but perhaps lack the resources or know-how. I basically do this free of charge.

ZM: Any final words, Lawrence?

Lawrence: Merry Christmas Zambia! And THANK YOU for supporting #ZMUbuntu, it means the world to us!!

Ubuntu airs Monday-Wednesday at 21:30 on DStv Channel 162. Make sure you don't miss a minute of this riveting local drama, nor the characters that make it an African tour-de-force!