Born in Springs, Masoja Msiza made a 360 degree career change from being a mine worker to becoming an actor. He plays the role of Nkunzi on Uzalo, a character we all love to hate.
By Ayanda Sitole
I started acting when I was 9 years old at school and at church, when I was 14 I won a drama competition. But, when I left school I found work in the mining industry and was dismissed from my job because I was participating in protest action. It was a blessing because I wanted to follow my passion which is acting. My first professional gig was acting in a stage play called Mfowethu which was written and directed by Gibson Kente.
Nkunzi is a man that behaves in a crazy manor. Despite what you think of him as a criminal, one of the things I love about him is that he loves his family. He does things out of love for his wife and daughter but doesn’t realise that his actions negatively affect them. He’s obsessed with money and being powerful and doesn’t see the impact it has on the people he loves. Despite his flaws, people keep forgiving him, which is good because everyone needs forgiveness.
When people meet me in the streets they are afraid of me, but after some time they see that I’m a good guy. I have a gift of making people smile. On TV I’m a beast, a dangerous man, but in person I describe myself as a plum. The fruit is attractive to look at and when you bite it it’s sweet.
One of the things I want to be as an actor is unforgettable and irreplaceable. I’m currently working on a book which will have poetry and a gospel album because I love to sing. My advice to young people that look up to me is that you need to become a ‘hustlepreneur’, never give up on your dreams and have a ‘never say die’ attitude.