A lot of men want to be him while a lot of women want to be with him. Fezile, a character Andile Mxakaza plays on Isibaya, is easy on the eye, mysterious and has a body to die for.
But in real life the heart-throb has very little in common with characters he has portrayed. When Move! had a chat with Andile he confessed that he’s a hopeless romantic and when it comes to love he falls hard like his characters (Fezile and Zone14’s Sgonondo).
The media-shy actor personifies perseverance and humility. It is refreshing to realise that he’s easygoing and knows his weaknesses. Like his co-actor Jessica Nkosi, who plays Qondi Buthelezi on Isibaya, once revealed in an interview, he speaks more English
than one would expect.
The very private hunk got into acting by chance and that’s when he left modelling.
He started modelling at 16 years old but when he moved to Joburg he decided to enrol with Damelin College to get formal training in personal training.
He worked in gyms for 10 years before the acting bug bit him. It was actor Tony Kgoroge who asked him to try out for a role in Zone 14 as he had the body for it.
“I pursued acting because it wasa matter of time versus money, so I had to choose acting,” he says. He admits to having no formal acting training and laughs it off. Nevertheless, he attributes his good acting skills to Bomb Productions’ Angus Gibson, who directed Zone
14, and former colleagues Popeye (Thulani Didi) and Spinach (Kere Nyawo), among others.
“Angus gave me a book titled Director’s Intuition and told me to watch a lot of movies to critique and analyse them. Popeye and Spinach gave me guidance,” he recalls. He
used to travel to Soweto frequently to get help from his co-actors.
GROWING AS AN ACTOR
He acknowledges that he was not as good an actor as he currently is. “In Zone 14 I was not sure about myself. In Isibaya I became more creative, I grew (as an actor) and I’m enjoying myself.
If you love something you will make it happen. I rehearse in front of the mirror, do expressions and cry. I know it sounds stupid but it works,” he says. Andile takes his craft seriously and doesn’t want to be mixed up in the illusion that comes with being a celebrity.
During our chat he declares, “I am not a celebrity”, with so much conviction numerous
times, stating, “I just work on TV”. But he enjoys meeting his fans, especially kids and senior citizens, who appreciate his work.
HELPING NEEDY CHILDREN
The 37-year-old grew up in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal, with his four other siblings. But the family moved to iSiphingo and ended up in Umlazi where he matriculated. When asked about life in the limelight, the actor, who is a regular feature on sexiest lists, says he
“doesn’t care about all that stuff”.
He says what he cares about most is putting as many disadvantaged children as possible through school. Andile confides that as we conduct the interview, he is with a businessman friend whom he will ask for funds to help needy children with their studies. On a career level, the modelturned-personal-trainer-turnedactor has his eyes set on the producer’s chair.