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Hillside has a new face in Fikani, but actor Nicolas Nkuna is no stranger to SABC screens. The 28-year-old is best known as mechanical engineer Sakhile on Skeem Saam (2011-current), but he felt that he was looking for “a new challenge” after leaving the SABC1 soap. “For now, my focus is on 7de Laan but I wouldn’t rule out a return to Skeem Saam again,” says Nicolas. So what do you need to know about the actor and his new role?
Who is your character and what is he doing in Hillside? Fikani is a qualified doctor but he hasn’t practised for a couple of years – he quit after losing a patient a couple of years ago. He got into sport nutrition and loves the outdoors… which explains why he’s good friends with Marko (Francois Lensley). Fikani is considering buying the T&T Sport shop from Willem (Markus Haywood) and settling down in Hillside. Will we still be seeing you in Skeem Saam? No, we’ve gone our separate ways – for now. That doesn’t mean that I’d rule out a return. I had a great time there and would love to visit in the future. Will you be chatting away in Afrikaans on 7de Laan? [Laughs] I do understand Afrikaans but for now I don’t have any Afrikaans dialogue. I hope that I’ll get to learn more Afrikaans from my castmates – who knows, maybe Fikani will be speaking a couple of “gevleuelde woorde” [posh words]. We hear that you’re not shy behind a mic… [Laughs] I’m a solo singer now but I had my own gospel group from 2005 until last year called Rhythm. When I’m not on set, I’m busy recording my first Afropop-soul album that I’m hoping to release later this month. NB! See more on p26.