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Patrick Ndlovu is the godfather of television and film

By Faeza
31 March 2017

HE WAS known as the no-nonsense principal on the drama series Yizo Yizo, and then he instilled fear as the manipulative funeral undertaker boss, Ntate Moloi, on Zone 14. Patrick Ndlovu, who is in his 70s, can make youngsters think twice about messing around with the elders once he gets into character. The veteran stage, TV and film actor, who grew up in Mohlakeng township on the West Rand, is a force to be reckoned with. He believes that God has given him talent to entertain people and he is still going strong despite his age.

RUTHLESS CHARACTERS LOVE HIM

Patrick is one person whom TV viewers love to hate due to the characters he plays. He started his acting career at a young age after trying his hand in music. He says that he used to be an opening act for singers, The Manhattan Brothers, while he was a teenager but he later turned his focus to acting. The new addition to the cast of the Ferguson’s TV telenovela, The Queen on Mzansi Magic, is already causing a stir through his character, Gold Finger. Patrick says that he has learned to perfect every role he gets and makes sure that he doesn’t cheat the viewers when it comes to his talent. “I have

been in showbiz for more than 45 years and I really understand what is needed from me when it comes to the roles I get,” he says. “My persona speaks volumes on The Queen and I know that the viewers are really looking forward to seeing what Gold Finger is up to in the next episode. I am one person who takes my craft very seriously.”

FALLING IN LOVE WITH THEATRE

He says that when he was doing Form 3 (now Grade 10), he was spotted by the late Prince of Theatre, Gibson Kente. Patrick says that it was not easy for his late parents Perry and Alzinah Ndlovu to allow him to go and be mentored by Bra Gib, as Gibson was affectionately known. “When Bra Gib came to my house in Mohlakeng to ask for permission to mentor me, my father got very angry and told him to go away,” he says. “My father hated Bra Gib as he felt that his mission was to distract me from my studies. But I eventually managed to go and work with him. He introduced me to theatre.” He adds that working with Bra Gib gave him an opportunity to study acting at Dorkay House at Eloff

Street in Johannesburg. “I learnt so much about acting and directing through Dorkay House. That’s when I started taking acting seriously as I performed on stage and on TV,” he says.

HELPING THE YOUTH

Patrick says that his mission is to help youngsters who are still trying get into the industry.

“This country has so much talent and it’s sad to see young actors making headlines for all the wrong reasons,” says Patrick, who is also shooting the second season of the drama series, Igazi. Patrick has performed on local stages in theatre productions such as Lefa, Skhalo and How Long. He has also graced international stages and performed at packed theatres in London during his stint as a cast member of The Good Woman of Sharpeville.