Fezile Makhaya on how playing an abuser on 'The Queen' affected him personally


Cape Town - After 16 years in the industry, actor Fezile Makhanya has finally bagged his first film role.

The actor will play a computer geek Hack in locally produced action-thriller, Uncovered.

“Hack is a township boy who happened to be good with computers but he uses his skill in the wrong places,” he tells DRUM.

The movie is directed by award-winning director, Zuko Nodada and produced by Thandeka Nodada née Malinga. It stars Sthandiwe Kgoroge, Scandal’s Nqobile Khumalo, Dumisani Mbebe and Robert Hobbs.

It’s taken from a true story of the people of Richards Bay who were embroiled in a court battled with Somkhele Coal Mine to force it to halt its operations for health reasons. Mixed with a bit of fiction, the movie takes a different part to expose corruption and the burning issue of land where a mining magnate tries to sell the worthless mine to the people. Blood spills when Hack works with the lead actor, Aluta (played by Nqobile) to expose corruption.

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Set life. Coming soon ???????? #actorslife #moviescenes

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“This is different from the roles I’ve played before. I really enjoyed playing Hack,” he says laughing.

Unfortunately, he can’t say the same about his much-talked about character in Mzansi Magic’s drama, The Queen.

Fezile who’s been appointed as the ambassador of Nedbank Ke Yona reveals that playing Kea’s (Dineo Moeketsi) abusive boyfriend was emotionally draining.

“It was too much for me because I am not an abusive person in any shape or form. That character was emotionally draining because I had to change moods like a chameleon changing its colours.”

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Honestly, as a man, I'm guilty of not taking abuse more seriously.  Playing Tebogo has opened up my eyes to its harsh realities. It's easy for us as actors to go back to our real lives after the director has called cut. For some people, the scene continues. Everyday, a Tebogo beats and possibly kills a Kea. I've read so many stories of women who relive their daily nightmares as they watch this abuse storyline unfold. It’s heartbreaking! I may not have the solutions to curb this issue, but all I know is that ENOUGH is ENOUGH! It's time for us men to stand up and protect our women! The reason why there are so many social ills in society is because real men say and do nothing, while monsters under the cloak of "Ngiyindoda" run riot and cause generational destruction. Fellas, let’s do right by our sisters! I say NO MORE! I say NO to women and child abuse! STOP abuse! Thank you @ferguson_films and @connie_ferguson for the opportunity to tell this important story. Thank you for trusting me with it. Thank you for the cast and crew for their unwavering support. I won’t lie, it drained me to play Tebogo but it has changed my life immensely.

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He says that two months before he snatched the role his friend told him a story about a wealthy guy who was controlling and physically abusing his wife.

“The husband would go out partying and come back home with his one night-stands and ordered his wife to go sleep in the guest room while he slept with another woman on their bed.” Fezile says he had to use that to bring his character to life. “Even though I’ve never met the guy, I had a picture in my mind of how some wealthy men behave.”

He also reveals that to step out of character was also the most difficult part for him. “I’d become angry and snappy for no reason. I had to remind myself that I was no longer on set.”

Although there are rumours that producers feel they shouldn’t have killed his character, it doesn’t look like he would take up the challenge once more.

“Some people still call me a dog when I meet them in the street because of the character. Even though I am grateful for the opportunity, I don’t know if I would like to go down that road again.”

Let’s hope Hack’s character will make people understand that he is just acting.

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