It’s been five years since he started playing the role of police officer Nyawo on the SABC 1 popular drama series, Uzalo.
When he joined the show, fans didn't get his role.
But since he's been promoted to captain, he's been a little more in the spotlight and fans are loving it.
Allowing Cebolenkosi Mthembu to wow viewers with his prodigious vocabulary has since earned him the nickname, Mr. Oxford Dictionary.
“When the show started in 2015, I was the funny police,” he says.
“I did this on purpose because already the other polices officers were too serious.”
The actor tells Drum that back then, people didn’t understand his character.
“In their heads, a police officer was serious and strict."
But now Cebolenkosi, who is a qualified electrical technician, keeps viewers captivated with his flamboyant high-sounding English.
“I am one of the actors who is always a supportive actor to other people’s storyline,” he says.
See his post here:
The actor says using big and complicated English words, instead of everyday English, is his way of trying to distinguish himself from other characters.
“But I make sure that even as someone who is supporting, I leave my mark each time I have to speak.
“The words I use, most of them are there in the script. But they are really not necessary as they can be simplified.”
He tells Drum that he hopes viewers and his fans will not only look at what he says; but who he is as an entertainer because he has so much more to offer as an actor.
“Ngiyazi kuningi mina engingakwenza njengomlingisi [There is a lot I can do as an actor].
“I hope the show will give me more opportunities to show that I am an entertaining character.”
He is a man of many talents.
By night he plays the funny captain on Uzalo, but during the day he is an electrical technician at the country’s power utility Eskom.
See the post here:
How does he balance being an actor and having a full-time day job?
“Ngiyabonga kakhulu kuZalo [ I am thankful to Uzalo] for being able to work around my schedule.
“I normally shoot early in the morning or late afternoon. Unless it is a pressing matter, then I normally take leave,” he explains.
As if he is not busy enough, those aren’t even half of the things that he does.
And he is showing no signs of slowing down.
He is also a radio presenter for a community radio station in Durban called Imbokodo FM, he runs the Comrades Marathon, and he also part of the Clermont choir.
“I love singing, but we only practice on Sundays and Saturdays are for radio,” he laughs.