Fri Apr 28 21:59:09 SAST 2017

Thabo Malema steps into 'life-changing' role in Kalushi

2017-03-15 14:43:10.0 | Mduduzi Nonyane |

Thabo Malema, who plays the trigger-happy foot soldier Mandy in Kalushi, was born in Mabopane, Pretoria, 33 years ago.

Picture credit: Vele Nhlapo

He is best known for his comical role as Khaya, the dreamer who squandered his inheritance in SABC 1 sitcom Single Guys.

But he says it's Kalushi that will put him on the map because the acting experience was surreal and one he never thought he would pull off. He says it was a life-changing experience.

After getting his honours degree in live performance from arts school AFDA, he steadily made a name for himself appearing in Ashes to Ashes on e.tv, Intersexions and Gauteng Maboneng on SABC 2.

"I have been quite patient to get the roles I have gotten so far in my career. I believe that when the student is ready, the teacher appears," he says.

But Malema says Mondy was a shift from the roles he normally plays.

"I am glad that the director, Mandla Dube, entrusted me to such a big responsibility, and he also gave me the creative space to add some of my character to the role. Most of the scenes were shot in Pretoria, which suited me perfectly."

The actor says he read a few political autobiographies to mentally prepare for his role.

"I read Nelson Mandela's Long Walk To Freedom and Chris Hani. Those got me ready from a political perspective. The director guided me a lot in terms of my performance but most of the inspiration came from the entire cast."

He says the highlight for him was meeting Solomon Mahlangu's family, and visiting the grave. Malema is confident that the film will win critical acclaim.

"It's a must-see, especially for young people. They must know their roots; as soon as they do that they can only grow taller."

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