Gang­ster finds God

Nkunzi is re­born be­hind bars after he sees the light – but is he just gaslight­ing?.

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Uzalo Week­days SABC1 (*191) 20:30

With so many evil char­ac­ters turn­ing to re­li­gion to play the sym­pa­thy card, view­ers are wary of be­liev­ing any­one who claims to have had that “road to Da­m­as­cus” mo­ment. And when the crim­i­nal is as vi­cious and mur­der­ous as Nkunzi (Ma­soja Msiza) – who tried burn­ing Mx­olisi (Nay Maps Mapha­lala) to death on Thurs­day 6 July – doubt runs deep. But on Mon­day 24 July, Nkunzi tells his prison sup­port group that he wants to be good and he could be for real!

FAM­ILY IS EV­ERY­THING

Ma­soja cred­its Nkunzi’s daugh­ter Zekheth­elo (Nyal­leng Thibedi) for his true change after she cuts ties with him on Mon­day 24 July. “She didn’t have a clue about what her fa­ther was do­ing. When he bought her a new car or brought her gifts, she thought he was busy with his nor­mal busi­ness. She feels be­trayed,” says Ma­soja. And with­out her, “Nkunzi feels that he has lost his world.” The only way to get Zekheth­elo back is by not just con­vinc­ing her that he’s changed, but re­ally chang­ing.

PRISON BREAK

“Nkunzi starts by seek­ing for­give­ness from the Lord God and then he wants to change his life,” says Ma­soja. But im­pris­oned Nkunzi’s re­solve is tested when he is of­fered a lit­eral es­cape route on Tues­day 25 July. “Es­cape is free­dom but he re­alises that there is nowhere that he could go and it [es­cap­ing] would make mat­ters worse,” re­veals Ma­soja. “He has an op­por­tu­nity to pre­tend that he is es­cap­ing but uses this per­son as a scape­goat to prove to the au­thor­i­ties that he has changed.”

CHANGE IS HARD

This back­stab­bing proves that badguy Nkunzi is as cun­ning as ever. “It’s not easy to change overnight,” ad­mits Ma­soja. “Nkunzi made money through crime and for him to change, he has to pluck up his courage and know that he is go­ing to strug­gle for a while. He has to tell him­self, ‘I am a smart man with a great mind. I will learn some new skills and come out with a new way of mak­ing money.’” And Nkunzi isn’t the only one chang­ing…

“When I play some­body who is a gang­ster, I pic­ture an an­i­mal, like a bull or a snake. Now I change even his pos­ture. I bring the chest out, the chin up and come into the light and I smile more. I trans­late my scripts into Zulu, so now I use words that have no vul­gar­ity and that are clear. I re­search words from the Bi­ble,” re­veals Ma­soja.

Nkunzi’s change is driven by Zekheth­elo dis­own­ing him. Nkunzi (right) wants spir­i­tual help from Pas­tor Mdlet­she, the man he tried to kill.

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