Johannesburg - As one of our most celebrated thespians, S’dumo Mtshali’s Best Actor in a TV Drama nod comes as no surprise. He first grabbed my attention as the badass gangster Chili Ngcobo in the award-winning 2013 thriller iNumber Number, the film which became a TV series.
Chili was a role, he says, that he had been waiting for since the age of 12, his breakout moment. Things first took off for him, though, when he won the first season of SABC1 reality competition Class Act, in 2010. He then landed his first leading dramatic role in the fêted SABC1 drama series Intersexions, which premiered in October that year.
Nominated for the SA Film and Television Awards (Saftas) for his role as Mandla in Is’thunzi, Mtshali most commonly plays the villain you sympathise with. But it was the naivety of Ndumiso Khumalo in Saints and Sinners, a role which also earned him a Safta nomination, that proved that despite his tough-looking exterior, Mtshali can play a softer role.
“It was so much fun playing Ndumiso especially since I based the character on a close family member,” he has said previously. But it’s his bad-ass characters that we really love to hate.