On television he plays a rich, spoilt young man and has the perfect family. Up until now, Chumani Langa has lived a charmed life in the popular e.tv show Scandal! but things have become a little bit harder for him.
COPING WITH PAIN
There’s the drama that followed after Chumani and his sister Xolile (played by Sivenathi Mabuya) discovered their parents, Siseko Langa (played by Hlomla Dandala) and Boniswa (played by Lusanda Mbane), were involved in a murder during the apartheid regime, putting their lives in danger.
And Chumani is still trying to deal with the fact that he recently came out as being gay. It’s a role Ayanda Daweti (29) loves to play.
“Playing a gay character was educational,” he says. “It’s strange to think that in 2019, people still judge others on their sexuality.”
Ayanda also knows all too well about struggling and dealing with heartache. Chumani has nothing on this actor when it comes to coping with pain.
YOUNG AT HEART
Playing a character eight years his junior made Ayanda see life through young eyes. “Chumani has always had an easy life and does not really know the true struggles of the world,” he points out.
Ayanda, on the other hand, has faced many challenges. At 13 years old, he lost his mother, Nomalizo Daweti, to heart complications and she died in her sleep. “But my mom’s passing made me grow up quickly and appreciate the people in my life,” he says sadly.
After her death, he left Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape to go live with his aunt Stella Sondaba and grandmother Nomonde Sondaba in Mhlakulo, Tsolo in the Eastern Cape.
He used music to pay tribute to his aunt. Last month he released a six track debut EP named after her. An EP is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single, but is usually unqualified as an album.
She’s not the only important woman in his life who makes an appearance on the album. Xola, the song making waves on radio stations across the country, is dedicated to his late girlfriend Xola, who died after a tragic car accident in 2010. Ayanda and Xola dated from 2007 until she passed.
But he’s now working on being a better version of himself. “Music is a form of therapy.” Ayanda hopes to record more music and feature well-known artists.
“I’m entering a competitive territory of music and I am ready for the challenge.” He also wants to explore more acting roles. His highlight as an actor was when he played the role of a nyaope dealer on the film Okae Molao, which won a Golden Horn award for the Best Made for TV Movie at the South African Film and Television Award in 2018.