Wed Oct 18 11:05:18 SAST 2017

Tumisho is all charm - Mr smiley

2012-01-08 14:03:57.0 | Up Close and Personal with Phindi Sibiya |

It's 10.15am and three calls and SMSes later, Tumisho Masha still hasn't replied.

It's 10.15am and three calls and SMSes later, Tumisho Masha still hasn't replied.

I'm in a panic. Typical!

Just then an e-mail pops up: "I'm waiting for you. I left my phone at home."

I breathe a sigh of relief, grab my notebook and rush to The Hyatt Regency hotel in Rosebank. I spot him almost immediately. He gets up from the leather couch and shakes my hand gently, flashing his trademark smile.

"Coffee? You must have some, it's the best" he says charmingly as he empties his mug.

But, first, what's with the outfit? Brown leather jacket, khaki pants and a white shirt with brown stripes? He's usually swagged up in a designer suit.

"I'm shooting a scene that requires this type of outfit. You're too observant, wena," he tells me, laughing.

He's referring to his character on The Wild.

He plays Mr nice guy Modise Tladi, Itumeleng's (Shona Ferguson) principled younger brother.

One is used to seeing him in meatier roles.

"Yes... I enjoy it but it's also challenging because it can be rather predictable, you know."

We start off on safe subjects - one doesn't wanna risk annoying him too soon - such as the fact that he wanted to be an astronaut when he was a kid.

"I eventually fell in love with acting, much to my parents' dismay.."

And, contrary to the popular view that he's fat-headed, he believes he's still a work in progress: "There's a lot I'm still learning and keen to do."

Such as radio. He did a stint at Trans-Africa Radio in the 90s with T-Bose and Azania Ndoro and "given the chance, I'd do it again, preferably Metro FM. It's a passion of mine ."

"I think my confidence leads people to believe I'm arrogant . But I credit my thick skin to my early school days as the only black kid in a model C school.

"In three months I could speak English and blended in with the white kids. Today I'm not afraid of unfamiliar spaces.

"I adapt easily."

OK, enough of the banal stuff. What don't we know about him?

His smile vanishes.

"I've always struggled with my weight. I don't think people realise just how much.

"I've managed to maintain it through a healthy lifestyle. I'd like to start a campaign to educate others, especially in the rural areas."

Then he orders me a farmhouse breakfast.

I'm surprised to hear that he and his wife of two years, Zozi, are still childless: "Of course I wanna be a dad. Hopefully I will be soon but, trust me, you won't be the first to know."

I ask about his much-publicised divorce from ex-wife Angel.

He clams up.

"You know I'm in a very comfortable space with Zozi. Our marriage is stable and developed. This time I'm in it for the long haul, no turning back."

Anything more he'd like to clear up? No.


  • Born in 1975.
  • Grew up in Mamelodi.
  • Boxes for fun.
  • Likes Drake, AKA and Judith Sephuma.
  • Co-owns a production company with his bro.
  • Has three siblings, a brother and two sisters.
  • Loves soccer, rugby and cricket.
  • Does voice-overs for Sundowns TV and DStv compact. "They're from Mamelodi, my home town. They take me back to my roots, you know."
  • Also did voice overs for Lion Lager before it was discontinued.
  • Has a colourful acting history, ranging from Gaz'lam to Isidingo, Jozi H and Society, to name but a few.
  • Also presented Top Billing for a while.

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