Felix Makhathini’s desire to become an actor started with some cash in his pocket and a dream.Now Makhathini (25), who hails from Pietermaritzburg, hopes his role on SABC 1’s new series Ingozi will help open up more doors for him. “My mother passed away when I was 12, I had only met my father once and my two older brothers were too young to take care of me.“I had to make a decision and with R1 000 I had saved from odd jobs I moved to Jo’burg. “I did not know anyone in Jo’burg but when I arrived I managed to find a place to stay. I paid R800 and had to wake up and find a job the next morning. I had to figure out what to do next to keep living. “That was the worst time of my life because I have never been that hungry for such a long period. Growing up I wanted to be an IT specialist but because I could not study further I considered my other dream of being on television.”It was difficult at first but then he landed roles as an extra in Generations and Selimathunzi while supplementing his income with modelling and presenting gigs. Then came his big break — a role on a locally produced SABC show.“I play the role of Zozo on Ingozi. The series is about the Department of Transport and the road safety awareness campaign they are running in the country.“In January last year I lost one of my brothers in a car accident. It was the most horrific [event] I’ve ever experienced but I believe that incident has helped mould me into what I am today. I had just been with my brother and then 15 minutes later I was told that he had been involved in a car accident in Thornville.“When I got there he was calling everyone by my name and then the car he was stuck in was on fire. All I remember was trying to get him out and people holding me back. I remember lying on the floor screaming because I could hear him screaming. “It was the worst. The car was on fire for an hour and a half before the fire fighters arrived. Hearing his screams was the most tragic thing for me. From then I started working even harder because he died and left children. “It was up to me to be a father figure to his children and that is why I spend so much time in Pietermaritzburg. I need to be here for them as an uncle and support them. I don’t have children of my own, but I cannot be selfish and leave them here.“In a way, I feel as though my role in the series Ingozi was given to me by my brother because it was just after he passed. I really relate to the series and it has helped me find closure. This is the biggest role I have ever played and I hope it is not the last but a humble beginning of greater things.”Makhathini lived on East Street and attended a boarding school in Otto’s Bluff. He completed Grade 8 at Marion High School before completing the rest of his secondary education at Copesville Secondary School. Catch Makhathini on SABC 1’s Ingozi every Sunday at 7.30 pm.