Ronnie Nyakale gave the word “controversy” new meaning as the ?devious Papa Action from Yizo Yizo and as a bully on SABC1’s hit soapie Generations: The Legacy where he plays the role of Cosmo. He starred in a film for Mzansi Magic called Conversation With My Brother. We spoke to him about the dubious characters he plays on the box.
Are you selective about the roles you play?
I used to be, but not anymore. When I started being selective, I was out of a job for a while. Being selective doesn’t put food on the table, you have to work and use all the opportunities you have to get ahead in life.
Some fans actually believe you may be a thug in real life. True ?or not?
People I grew up with would be able to give you an answer on that one.
How do people react when they see you on the streets or in malls, do they attack you?
It was like that when I was in Yizo Yizo (SABC1 drama series), but I think things have changed and people realise I’m not actually like the person I play on TV – it’s just a role I’m portraying.
Are fans mostly well-behaved or do some of them get out of hand?
Eish, don’t mention that. I love acting and love my fans, too, but sometimes they behave very badly, especially when they’re drunk. They squeeze my hand real hard when they greet me, sometimes it’s painful, because I guess they want to show how tough they are.
Playing Cosmo on Generations: The legacv, do you think you would do the same thing to protect your sister or niece in real life?
Actually, I’ve been there for a cousin. I once had to intervene when my cousin’s boyfriend came to the house to take her away. I was ?angry because it showed that he had little respect for our home and for me too. For us guys, it’s a disgrace if a guy just walks into your house and behaves like that. But eventually, you reach a point where you have to let go because you realise they’re big girls and they can look after themselves.
Do you have kids?
I have a lovely daughter and I’m very fond and protective of her.
If you were president for a day what would you change?
I would love that (laughs). When ?I was growing up I used to be ?fascinated by the way things are done in the US. I always asked myself how Americans manage to be so ?perfect in everything they do.
Even when they sing their national anthem they carry themselves in a dignified manner while we, South Africans, sing ours with a bottle of beer in our hands. It’s disrespectful. If I were president for a day, I would like to change the behaviour of South ?Africans and instil respect in them ?because we have lost so much respect for one ?another.
By Khosi Biyela