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Obed Baloyi speaks about being a street vendour and becoming an actor

By Faeza
16 September 2016

Ga Re Dumeli actor Obed Baloyi tells Vincent Phahlane that even serious issues can inspire laughter.

He is one of the funniest Tshangani character, which makes you laugh even when you can’t understand what he is saying. He has been in different theatre plays after his matric, and appeared on television sitcom shows like Emzini Wezinsizwa, and Stokvel. Obed wanted to do businesses management, but art was his calling.

STREET VENDOUR

Obed Baloyi says he didn’t know he was an actor, until people who lived around him told him that he could do it since entertainment was in his blood. Living with both parents in Diepkloof Zone 4, Obed sold vegetables and fruits with his mother.

“I helped my mother to sell fruit and vegetables in the street, just for me to get a better life and education. I also sold sweets at school just to bring money that will put bread on the table,” he says.

He says it bothered him at first because he didn’t have time to play like any other kids, and he was one of the kids that were recognized in school because he went to every corner selling sweets.

“I was one of the darkest kids in school that got teased a lot. They used to tease me, but I got used to it because I started being the joker. I think being a joker helped my mother’s business grow because whenever someone wanted to buy something, they came straight to my mother’s market, and they knew whenever they leave, they left with laughter,” says Obed.

HIS BIG BREAK

Obed explained to Move! in Shongwezi High School, that’s where he joined his first drama group. In 1996, he heard of a group called Melaisizwe theatre Group, which was under Darlington Michaels. He performed for them, and that’s were his career started.

“I couldn’t believe I was sharing a stage with one of the talented veteran actors, and that was my motivation of not disappointing them. I stage played all my life until I made my debut in television, but theatre will always be my favorite.”

His first television appearance was on Mama’s Love, and later in 2008 to 2009 came Khululeka.

“In 2010 I got a call from Martin Koboekae, who is a playwright. He told me that there is a sitcom that they wanted me to star in on SABC2 which is called Ga re Dumeli, from there it has been my home since,” he says.

Obed says one of his best highlight is when he got to share a stage with one of the most gifted talent like Charlize Theron, and also winning the SAFTA award in 2014.

FAMILY MAN WITH A GOOD HEART

Obed Baloyi is a divorcee but got married again for about eight years. He has four children, two from a previous marriage, and two recently.

“Ga re Dumeli is one of my favourite sitcom I have ever been. I play the role of Tsutsuma who is a shoe repair, and who also like taking advantages to what he wants. Tsutsuma is the most humorous person with a good at heart,” he says.

Obed also explained he has a project that he runs.” I am running a Development Gauteng Art project were we go to prisons, and discover those who are also interested in the art industry. We also do donations, and I am also a motivational speaker,” he concludes.