The Uzalo cast has taken over Moziak Magazine and we couldn’t be more delighted at the opportunity to trade thoughts with stars from one of the biggest soapies in the country.
Masoja Msiza and Dawn-Thandeka King are two of Mzansi’s most recognisable faces. In fact, if you believe Masoja he reckons he is the most recognisable actor in SA! When speaking to legends such as these it can be easy to feel intimidated but my interview with two of Uzalo’s biggest stars was nothing short of entertaining and inspiring.
Playing the roles of Mangcobo (Dawn) and Nkunzi (Masjoja), they have firmly centred themselves as crucial leads in the story’s ever-evolving narrative.
Like many productions, Uzalo has not been immune to the effects of the coronavirus and was forced to take a 5-week hiatus as the result of the lockdown. The popular soapie made its grand return last week and nobody was happier to be back to work than these two leading stars. It was on this joyous note which we kicked off our conversation with our two stars.
Art Reflecting The Times: With Masoja Msiza And Dawn Thandeka King
Moziak Magazine: Masoja we will start with you – did you miss the Uzalo fans during your time away?
Masoja Msiza: Absolutely. I just want people to know – if there’s one thing that I really wish people can know about me, it’s how much I care. I care passionately about the fans, about the viewers at home and I urge them to please continue doing their part.
MM: And What about you mam’Dawn, how did it feel to have to take so much time away from the Uzalo set?
DTK: It was agony, I missed the whole Uzalo world and of course our beloved fans. But I believe it’s important that people remember – you’re not staying home for yourself, you’re staying home for all of us, so that we can all make it through this! We will get to our “new normal” but for now, let’s co-operate with the rules.
MM: How did your fanbase handle the 5-week break that you had to take?
MM: The reaction when Uzalo said it was taking a break was understandable, but we always knew we would be back. Life on set is different but by day 2 or day 3 you already adapt.
MM: Thankfully that break ended on the 15th of June and Uzalo is now back on our screens. Your characters have the most interesting relationship – let’s start with Dawn, what can you predict for Mangcobo and Nkunzi?
DTK: She’s going to go through hard times, I don’t want to lie guys. Now that Uzalo is back, it’s going to be a very difficult time for her and you are going to see the fall and rise of Mangcobo. Let’s not jinx anything between Mangcobo and Nkunzi, people will see that there’s no love there it’s just manipulation there between the two of them. They are just taking from each other and nobody knows if they will have anything left to give.
MM: Anything to add Masoja?
MM: Nkunzi is a day one character on the show, everybody knows him and by now if you love him, you love him; but he also has his critics. However, what I will say is that even with everythin you currently know about Nkunzi, things are about to flip in the coming weeks.
MM: This lockdown made us review a lot of things, including how much we (need to!) appreciate our local talent. What would you like to see change in the SA entertainment industry going forward?
DTK: I’ll tell you one thing that I would like to see change. I hate seeing how hard we work to create our own content in South Africa and have to fight to be paid a certain sum. But then an artist from overseas can come in and be paid twice, three times or even ten times the amount to do the job at an arguably similar level many times. It hurts. It breaks my heart.
MM: When it’s time to campaign, when votes are needed and when an important message needs to be broadcast, it is us who they call first. But when it’s time to look out for South African artists, we are the last to be considered.
Well, just look at what happened. Lockdown was announced, people stayed home and needed what? They needed entertainment. So they watched their favourite series on DSTV, SABC, ETV, Netflix, Showmax, and so on. And who was starring in those favourite series? Us – your favourite actors. We were in homes, on screens, on phones, – making sure that you, South Africa, were entertained. But when it’s time to announce grants and business support during the lockdown, actors and entertainers are very low on the list.
Do you think there’s been anything positive about the lockdown?
DTK: I think this lockdown cleared people’s minds and it started to show us the light. It helped us identify what is and isn’t important and also what we are capable of. We will soon realise that we don’t always need to look outwards for the answers; sometimes many of the answers are actually right here. Eventually we are going to reach a stage where the world is coming to us for answers. There’s a reason why Africa is regarded as the cradle of humankind and I believe that we will come back home for all of the answers.