Child of the African soil

MOROCCO OMARI: AC­TOR, DI­REC­TOR AND WRITER

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - CITY - Kgosi Modis­ane

‘I am the first out of six or seven gen­er­a­tions of my fam­ily to step back on the moth­er­land.’

Em­pire sea­son three ac­tor Morocco Omari, re­cently vis­ited our shores, while on a pro­duc­tion break from the award-win­ning DStv se­ries on Fox chan­nel 125. In the se­ries Omari plays the role of an FBI in­ves­tiga­tive agent and half-brother to lead role Lu­cious Lyon, played by Ter­rence Howard.

Be­ing a jet­set­ter, Omari has made it his mis­sion to visit and ex­plore the African con­ti­nent as he be­lieves it res­onates with him be­ing of African-Amer­i­can de­cent. How­ever, it is only since his first visit to the South­ern African coun­try that he has found so­lace in the city of Jo­han­nes­burg

“This is my sec­ond time here, my first be­ing back in April-May for my birth­day. I’d never been to South­ern Africa; I’ve been north and east but never the South and all my friends who had been spoke very highly of Jo­han­nes­burg,”

says the charm­ing lead­ing man.

“I am the first out of six or seven gen­er­a­tions of my fam­ily to step back onto the moth­er­land. I be­lieve it is my duty to know my ori­gins, I de­serve to know and un­der­stand who my peo­ple are,” added the soon-to-be Jo­han­nes­burg res­i­dent.

From first glance, Omari re­sem­bles an in­quis­i­tive soul, out on the search for the next chap­ter in his life, this be­ing ev­i­dent in his ac­tions of par­tic­i­pat­ing in a ge­neal­ogy test to find out about the his­tory of both his ma­ter­nal and pa­ter­nal African ori­gins. “I’ve been to Paris and Rome but my an­ces­tors are from

here. It pains me the way the me­dia back home por­trays this con­ti­nent, mak­ing our peo­ple afraid of com­ing here and see­ing this land.”

Touching on the rea­son for his sec­ond visit to the city, Omari speaks about how he’s more open to the idea of trav­el­ling alone as it al­lows the op­por­tu­nity to get a feel for the spe­cific lo­ca­tion.

He went on to men­tion how it is only through trav­el­ling alone that he would be able to have made as many friends and con­tacts as he has over such a short time.

“I’ve made friends in Maputo, Botswana, Cape Town and Jo­han­nes­burg be­cause I travel alone. Had I been with an en­tourage I don’t think I would have had time to speak to the lo­cals and truly get to learn about where it is I am.”

As in­ter­est­ing as this glo­be­trot­ter is, his life story is one that could bet­ter be cap­tured on film.

Hav­ing en­tered the United States Marines at a young age, Omari found him­self hav­ing to wit­ness the pain and suf­fer­ing that comes with war.

How­ever, he de­cided to use the same ex­pe­ri­ence as a way to do Edited by

Thami Kwazi

010 492-5227

city@cit­i­zen.co.za

bet­ter and live his life to the full by do­ing acts of kind­ness, wher­ever he goes.

As an in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed per­form­ing artist and ac­tor, Omari’s hu­mil­ity and laid back na­ture is breath-tak­ing and re­fresh­ing.

Hav­ing been spot­ted walk­ing through the farm­ers mar­ket in Four­ways, Omari gives a true in­di­ca­tion of some­one who walks the talk. “I keep my ear to the ground and be­ing amongst the peo­ple, I refuse to be a pris­oner of my own celebrity sta­tus. What I have done so far has brought me to this point, so why not con­tinue do­ing what I do,” says the philo­soph­i­cal ac­tor.

When asked about his plans for 2017, Omari men­tioned a few scripts he has been of­fered and is look­ing for­ward to a stage role on Broad­way. He is also work­ing on a movie script which he hopes to fin­ish and start film­ing soon, all within 12 months.

Though chal­leng­ing as it may be, Omari is a strong, ad­ven­tur­ous man who has made peace with his des­tiny.

I de­serve to know and un­der­stand who my peo­ple are

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