Find­ing his true call­ing

Ac­tor opens up about putting his dream of be­ing a preacher on hold for act­ing

Move! - - CONTENTS - By Vin­cent Phahlane

AC­TOR and script editor, Muzi Mtha­bela (40), has been a no­table suc­cess in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try. The Isi­baya star has been a model since 1999 and also worked as a script editor on shows such as Zola 7, Zone 14 and City’s Ses La.

MEET­ING HIS FA­THER FOR THE FIRST TIME

Grow­ing up in Mzolwa, KwaZulu-Na­tal with his sib­lings and sin­gle mother, Muzi had a care­free child­hood.

He did not know his fa­ther, who had sep­a­rated from his mother and only met him when he was 12-years-old.

Re­gard­less of this cir­cum­stance, the ac­tor drew a lot of lessons from his fa­ther.

“He taught me to be a re­spon­si­ble man and I be­lieve that if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be where I am in life,” says the for­mer The Road star.

Muzi re­calls a time when he be­came re­bel­lious be­cause he had be­friended peo­ple who in­flu­enced him to ques­tion how he was brought up and find an al­ter­nate life­style.

He stopped at­tend­ing church and started re­belling against his Chris­tian up­bring­ing as a re­sult of his new found be­liefs.

“I started drink­ing, smok­ing, keep­ing a shabby rasta-in­spired ap­pear­ance and lost all hope in my Chris­tian roots,” he shares. It took him sev­eral years to find him­self again. This was af­ter his fa­ther made ef­forts to show him how his new life­style would af­fect him neg­a­tively in the fu­ture. A CHANGE OF PLANS Muzi’s mother raised him with good morals and val­ues and in a staunch Chris­tian faith.

His Chris­tian up­bring­ing was so strong that he wanted to be­come a Catholic pas­tor.

“That meant I could not have a girl­friend or sex­ual in­ter­course my whole life and I was pre­pared to do it. I just wanted to help peo­ple and spread the word of God.”

But he found him­self study­ing at the Univer­sity of Kwa-Zulu Na­tal to­wards a qual­i­fi­ca­tion in post­pro­duc­tion and edit­ing.

He never pur­sued this path af­ter grad­u­at­ing and was in­tro­duced to act­ing in­stead.

“I started get­ting small roles, but I didn’t take act­ing se­ri­ously. Af­ter some time I warmed up to the craft and re­alised that this is what I wanted to do,” he says. Muzi cred­its some of his col­leagues for keep­ing him in­spired.

“I had a lot of en­cour­age­ment, es­pe­cially from peo­ple like Khanyi Mbau. She be­lieved in me and I thank her for en­cour­ag­ing me to be pas­sion­ate about act­ing,” he says.

FAM­ILY IS EV­ERY­THING

A born again Chris­tian, Muzi says his fam­ily is ev­ery­thing to him. Even though he doesn’t want to dis­close much about them, he puts them first in ev­ery­thing he does.

“I have been mar­ried to my beau­ti­ful wife Zanele for 10 years. We have two daugh­ters and I thank God for the beau­ti­ful fam­ily I have,” he says.

Muzi Mtha­bela says if it wasn't for his fa­ther, he wouldn't be where he is today

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