Themba Ndaba talks to us about what makes a good father and what acting means to him

By Faeza
10 February 2017

Actor Themba Ndaba (51) has portrayed all sorts of characters on TV. Some have rubbed viewers the wrong way, while some have left viewers in giggles.

If there is one thing that most of his fans do not know is that Themba is a bornagain

Christian, and he says as a Christian, he strives to set a good example for his sons.


“One doesn’t go to school to be a parent. This is governed in most instances by what one experienced and observed as a child. As a Christian, it is incumbent upon me not only to instill positive values in my sons, but also be a living example for them to follow and

build on,” says the veteran actor.

“Listening is very important, as well as acting in a manner that proves what I profess from the Word of God. The bottom line is, most of what we teach is by actions and it isn’t easy.”

The actor says men need to be pillars for their families.

“As men, I strongly believe that the first point of call is for us to ask God for wisdom. Our task is not miniature and is made up of dignity, respect, finding our purpose and passion, coming to a clear knowledge that we are not in the world for ourselves. Most importantly, we must trust God."


Themba was born in Meadowlands, Soweto, but moved to Swaziland in 1969 because his late father was a minister of the gospel. He then moved to Zimbabwe where he did his business studies at Harare Polytechnic.

“When I came back from college in 1989, I was assisting school drop-outs with English literature at Sibikwa Arts Centre, a drama school in Daveyton, Ekurhuleni. I found myself delving into the drama workshops. It happened that one of the characters left the cast of a

play that was being rehearsed and my uncle, Smal Ndaba, said I should take the part ‘for a while.' I have not looked back ever since,” he says.

Themba believes that after you find your calling and gift, it is only natural that you excel.

“Art is about passion, practice, observation and being open to constantly learning. There would be no point in doing something without excellence,” he says.


Believability is what makes a good actor, and Themba has got it all. Commenting on Ngema, the character he plays on Rockville, who is a cop who falls in love with

a school girl, Themba says, “Ngema is just a reflection of some of the issues we face and live with in our society. He too is a victim of the negative norms that some sectors of

our society have come to accept to the detriment of the greater good.”

Themba says he is nothing like the characters that he plays on Rockville

and The Queen. “Every individual has a history that shapes how they respond to

external stimuli. In the performance arts, one has to create histories for characters, and Ngema and Brutus' histories are very far from mine in terms of background and influences. I’m not a cop or a boisterous hardheaded drug dealer,” he says.