Viewers were falling in love with the man he was becoming. He had gone from a spoilt boy living in Sandton to an impressive young man with his whole life ahead of him.
And then he died and fans are still in mourning. Gomora's Langa is gone and actor Siya Xaba (22) is already working on new projects.
He chats to Drum about the joys of playing Langa.
“He was the longest character I have ever played. It was great to see him grow, evolve and have layers to him, I really enjoyed it,” he says.
He has quite the impressive CV for someone his age and his performance as Langa on Gomora has again cemented him as a talented artist.
His repertoire of work includes local shows like Soul Buddies and international films like Queen of Katwe and The Book of Negroes.
Having been in the entertainment industry for so long, he says his curiosity and eagerness has helped him stay relevant and transition from being a child star.
“For me it has been curiosity and the knowledge that there is always so much that a person can learn. If you open yourself enough, you can learn so much and relearn some things too,” he says.
His character was thrust into poverty and the township life when his father was murdered in a botched hijacking.
“When viewers first met Langa, he was not the expressive guy he was at the end. He went from one type of lifestyle in Sandton to another in Alex and as an actor I related that to everyday life and how things change. You go to school for years and one day you are finished school and you have to have a new plan for your life and so that it is how I approached it,” he says.
He gives credit to the producers and directors of the show for giving him the opportunity.
“We are really given space to grow and to interpret things our way and that is great. It was great seeing Langa transform the way he did at the end,” he says.
Viewers took to social media to compliment him for his sterling performance, but he did not see any of it.
“I deliberately do not read comments about me because if you take the good, you gotta take the bad as well, so I choose to not read any of it.
“But having said that, I would like to thank all the people that follow my work and enjoy what I do. Because really we do what we do for your entertainment, so I appreciate you watching and I love you lots like jelly tots,” he says.
His parents may be used to seeing him on TV, he says, but they continue to watch him and are very proud of him.
He is working on a new project but he is not at liberty to talk about it just yet.
“I cannot talk about it now, but I will say that there is something in the pipeline,” he adds.