New season, new faces and a fresh, new twist to the story line that promises to leave fans on the edge of their seats – that's how season 8 of this popular telenovela is being pitched.
As the world of many Uzalo characters is turning upside-down, among those who will be making new appearances are actor and singer Sandile Mfusi, popularly known by his stage name Masandi, and seasoned performer Siyabonga Radebe.
Sandile tells Drum he will be playing the role of Kwanda Buthelezi a troublesome yet understanding gentleman who is also a charmer. Bagging this role was part of a journey he wanted to embark upon as an actor, says Sandile, and he was filled with excitement when he found out that his dream to be part of the set of Uzalo came true.
“I was over the moon, because you know, I have high respect for Uzalo, and it has been a very long time actually, I have been wanting to get on the set. I have done two episodes so far. This is like one of the biggest opportunities that I have had in my career to showcase my talent in acting and I feel so blessed and honoured to be part of the cast, especially because they are the number one soapie in the country. I am really grateful,” he shares.
Revealing some titbits about his role, the actor says. “This character is very interesting, he is a very charming individual who can get his way in many ways. Let me just say he is very entertaining. All I can say is that he is kind of chaotic.”
The actor says he is excited to play a role that resonates with some of his personal traits. He says coming from humble beginnings has taught him the ability to adapt to many situations. “I relate with him [Kwanda] because as a person I have learnt to adapt to many places and situations in my life because I have been exposed from just being a young man who grew in the township to a young man who also lived in the suburbs, living with wealthy people. But I was able to adapt my whole life because of my background. I come from a humble beginnings, but even when I am affluent places, I am able to just tap into my confidence.”
What viewers can expect from his character is “excitement", says Sandile. "Kwanda is an exciting character to watch because you do not know what he is about to do and there is a lot of anticipation that ‘oh, he is going to do this’ and he does something else.”
It was a dream come true for Siyabonga Radebe to finally get an opportunity to work in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal, he tells Drum.
The actor will be playing the role of Vikizitha Magwaza who is cousins with the conniving Nomaswazi Magwaza, played by Omuhle Gela on the show. Because he has been in the industry for many years, Siyabonga says his excitement only comes from the fact that he will be working in the province of his birth.
“I do not want to lie. I was not as happy and excited as I used to be when I was younger and starting out in the entertainment industry business. I have worked as an actor for so many years, so this time around my joy or happiness came from the fact that I was going to be working from the province of my birth. The idea of working television and movies in Durban was something that looked like a dream would never come true when I was young and studying the arts at university, so the exciting part is seeing one of the so-called biggest productions on television being shot in KwaZulu-Natal, now that is very excited,” he says.
Siyabonga says he does not want to reveal much about his role, but the character does not resemble his interests as a person. “I do not relate to the character at all, he is something I will never be and have never been. His relationships with other characters are very strange because of the person he is and the life he lives. I only hope that I make it interesting and worth watching,” says.
Uzalo's publicist, Thabile Mokone, has confirmed there won't be any cast members not returning in the new season.