FORMER SABC1 presenter and actor Fezile Makhanya celebrated his 15th-year in the entertainment industry with a banger of a role as Tebogo Ncube on Mzansi Magic’s hit soapie, The Queen. The actor states that he started bodybuilding to break the myth that a beer belly is a sign of a happily married man but his body transformation helped him in so many ways he didn’t foresee.
Fezile, who shot to fame when he appeared on numerous shows across different channels, one of them a supporting role on Mzansi Magic’s Rockville, says he started bodybuilding as a way for him to feel and look good. But the change came with a few extras, which worked out in his favour. “I did it to look and feel good. The perception of a married guy is that you look happier when you’ve gained weight. I want to change that. One of the ways of doing it is to look after yourself. After my body transformation, all types of work are coming my way,” he says.“This has made a huge difference. The types of roles that I get now are amazing. I’m actually spoilt for choice. My confidence levels have sky rocketed and it shows in my current roles.”
Fezile has made a lot of people angry on Twitter with his role on The Queen and was even advised to avoid public places if he didn’t want any nasty confrontations from fans. Through his manipulative and abusive character, the actor has single-handedly revived the whole MenAreTrash hashtag. In fact, his character is so convincing that his dad even sat him down to sort him out. “I feel amazed, thrilled and humbled. Tebogo is the most insane character that I’ve ever played. I wasn’t anticipating the response, which means the hatred that I receive on social media is working for Tebogo the character. Of course, some people think I’m like that, which is not true,” he says. “Wherever I go, people look at me with distaste. My dad was even concerned and sat me down to talk about Tebogo. He told me that he didn’t raise me like that.” Fezile is one of the few actors who use their social media platforms to interact with their fans. “It’s easier to interact with fans through the social media platforms that exist and you get to have a sense of what they feel about your character. Back when I started, that wasn’t the case,” he says.
Fezile has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Unisa, specialising in financial risk management, and has also completed his Registered Persons Exam in Equities. “My qualification has started to work for me. Apart from the broadcasting industry, I started consulting for a company in terms of risk management. One day, I will sit on company boards because of my experience in broadcasting, communications and stakeholder relations management,” he says.